The life of a player at the end of a National Football League roster is often not very fun. Or secure.
Former Bowling Green Falcons star Chris Jones, a sixth-round pick by the Houston Texans in the 2013 NFL Draft, has been in the league for five and a half months. He is now with his third different employer.
On the final cut day at the end of training camp, Houston had to make difficult roster choices. With enough depth along the defensive line, Chris Jones was waived, although Houston clearly hoped that he would make it through waivers so they could place him on their practice squad.
Unfortunately for the Texans, he did not make it.
He was claimed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots. Because the Bucs had better waiver position, they were awarded Jones' services, and he suited up for the team when they played their season-opening game at the New York Jets.
Unfortunately for Jones, the main rotation of defensive linemen played well and stayed healthy, while Tampa Bay did not like the performance of their core of running backs. So, on Tuesday, the team waived Jones so they could sign a different player to shore up depth in the offensive backfield.
Jones went through the waiver process again on Wednesday, and, once again, the Patriots claimed him. This time, no one else beat New England to the punch.
With the Patriots, Jones will likely again be at the back of the depth chart toward the end of the roster, but he should be active most weeks. I cannot say if he'll be active/in uniform tomorrow night against the Jets, but it's possible -- especially since his now-former team just played them last week.
(Hopefully, this isn't the only reason he was claimed.)
It's hard to say what the rest of the season will have in store for Jones. As a season progresses, teams have changing roster needs (often due to injury), and guys at the wrong position and the end of the roster often pay the price. New England, in particular, has a habit of making in-season moves. Occasionally, they will release and re-sign the same guy multiple times (see: Tiquan Underwood). Hopefully for him, Jones can stick with the Patriots, and while he's there, it's hard to imagine better people to learn from than coaches like Bill Belichick and players like Vince Wolfork.