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Donald Jones released by New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have removed Donald Jones from their equation at wide receiver.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Jones would be released by the Patriots, according to a source informed of the impending move. The Patriots later announced the move Friday afternoon.

The Patriots -- in the midst of rebuild mode at wide receiver -- signed Jones to a three-year contract in March. But none of the money in the contract was guaranteed, giving the team a clean break from the 25-year-old former Buffalo Bills receiver.

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According to Rapoport, the logic behind the Patriots' decision to drop Jones was tied to their wish to give younger receivers on the roster more reps in training camp. That group includes rookies Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce.

The Patriots also said Friday that they had signed rookie wide receivers Perez Ashford and Quentin Sims.

As Gregg Rosenthal pointed out, Jones' brief stay illustrates a new wrinkle to the Patriots' model, whereby the team uses organized team activities as an audition for bubble players. The Patriots took a similar approach last year with wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez.

Jones' next stop will be waivers. He has the chance to catch on elsewhere, but it might take a camp injury for that to happen.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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