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Patriots Sign S Tebucky Jones and K Martin Gramatica

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed free agent safety Tebucky Jones and free agent kicker Martin Gramatica today.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed free agent safety Tebucky Jones and free agent kicker Martin Gramatica today. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Jones, 31, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft. The ninth-year veteran returns to New England, where he spent the first five years of his career with the Patriots playing in 72 games with 36 starts from 1998-2002. The 6-foot-2-inch, 218-pound safety has played in a total of 110 career games with 72 starts, and played for the New Orleans Saints (2003-04) and Miami Dolphins (2005) after being traded by the Patriots to New Orleans on April 15, 2003. In eight NFL seasons, Jones has recorded a total of 420 tackles (299 solo), 4.5 sacks, six interceptions for 73 yards, 41 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 72 special teams tackles. He has one defensive touchdown on a 24-yard fumble return for the Patriots against the New York Jets on Sept. 15, 2002. Last season with the Dolphins, Jones started the first six games of the season and recorded 35 tackles (27 solo) and a career-high two sacks before being placed on injured reserve on Oct. 25, 2005. While with the Saints from 2003-04, Jones started all but one game and finished third on the team in tackles both seasons.

The New Britain, Conn. native was drafted by the Patriots as a cornerback out of Syracuse in the first round of the 1998 draft. After leading the team with 28 special teams tackles as a rookie, he earned his first career start as a cornerback late in the 1999 season. In 2000, he switched to safety, where he started nine of 15 games. In 2001, Jones was the team's starting free safety, starting 12 of 16 regular season games and all three playoff games. In the 2001 playoffs, Jones contributed to the team's Super Bowl XXXVI championship run by posting 15 playoff tackles and adding an interception in the AFC Championship Game at Pittsburgh (1/27/02). In 2002, Jones started 13 of 14 games and posted 50 tackles.

When the Patriots traded Jones to the Saints on April 15, 2003, they received three draft choices from New Orleans. The first two picks netted linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (seventh round, 239th overall in the 2003 draft) and safety Dexter Reid (fourth round, 113th overall in the 2004 draft). The third pick (third round, 78th overall in the 2003 draft) was traded to Miami on April 25, 2003 in exchange for a second round pick in the 2004 draft. That pick (second round, 56th overall in the 2004 draft) was traded to Cincinnati in exchange for running back Corey Dillon on April 19, 2004.

Gramatica, 30, will enter his seventh NFL season after spending his first six years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1999-2004) and Indianapolis Colts (2004). He was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2000 season. The 5-foot-8-inch, 170-pound kicker has converted 137-of-179 career field goals (76.5 percent) and 181-of-183 career extra points (98.9 percent). In seven career playoff games, Gramatica has converted 11-of-12 field goals (91.7 percent) and all 15 extra point attempts. The Kansas State product was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round (80th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. He holds Tampa Bay's all-time career records for scoring (591 points), field goals made (137) and field goals attempted (179). He also owns the top three single-season scoring performances in Tampa Bay history.

In 1999, Gramatica led all NFL rookies with 106 points and was named to the All-Rookie Team by Pro Football Weekly, College and Pro Football Newsweekly and Football Digest. The following season, he earned a Pro Bowl nod and was selected to the Associated Press All-Pro second team as he broke or tied six Buccaneers single-season kicking records. In 2002, he set single-season team records for successful field goals (32) and points (128), as Tampa Bay won Super Bowl XXXVII. In 2003, he led the Buccaneers in points for the fifth straight season, totaling 81 points. Gramatica spent the first 11 games of the 2004 season with Tampa Bay before being waived on Nov. 30, 2004. He was signed by the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 8, 2004 and handled kickoff duties for the final four regular-season games and both playoff contests. Gramatica spent the 2005 season out of football.

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