WR Jones signs with Pats

Updated: March 16, 2013, 2:57 AM ET
ESPNBoston.com

A day after announcing the signing of Danny Amendola, the New England Patriots signed another free-agent wideout, former Buffalo Bills pass-catcher Donald Jones, the team announced Friday.

The terms of the contract were not immediately known.

The 25-year-old Jones, who visited the Patriots on Thursday, spent three years in Buffalo after being undrafted out of Youngstown State. The Bills declined to tender him as a restricted free agent this offseason, allowing him to hit the open market.

The 6-foot, 208-pound Jones set career highs in catches (43), yards (443) and touchdowns (4) in 2012, serving as one of Buffalo's secondary targets in their multiple-WR sets.

In two games against the Patriots in 2012, Jones totaled eight catches for 164 yards, including a touchdown in each contest; he had a career-long catch of 68 yards in the Week 4 matchup in Buffalo.

Jones projects to a role as an outside receiver in the Patriots' system. Where he lands on the depth chart remains uncertain at this time, as the club figures to make multiple moves at the position this offseason. The Patriots currently have three established receivers -- Amendola, Brandon Lloyd and Jones -- under contract for 2013.

Steelers restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders is also visiting Patriots on Friday, sources told ESPN. Sanders, who entered the NFL as a third-round draft choice of the Steelers in 2010 out of Southern Methodist, was tendered an offer worth $1.3 million by Pittsburgh. If the Patriots sign Sanders to an offer sheet, the Steelers could match it and retain him. If the Steelers don't match a potential Patriots offer, they would receive a third-round draft choice from New England.

The Steelers have been tight to the salary cap, so if the Patriots truly want the soon-to-be-26-year-old Sanders, they could put together an offer that is a challenge for Pittsburgh to match.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Sanders played in all 16 games last season, with seven starts, and finished with a career-high 44 receptions for 626 yards (1 touchdown).

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