It is often hard and unfair to pick holes in signing a player to a reserve/future contract because the commitment is so small. However, every signing counts, so it is fair to wonder what Bill Belichick sees in Jonas Gray. This signing does not seem like it will pan out.
Gray is in his second NFL season and was originally signed as undrafted free agent out of the University of Notre Dame. Former Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland (who just got fired) was the one who signed him. To Ireland, there was potential that Gray could possibly become a good short-yardage running back.
Those plans backfired in Gray’s first season as he failed to recover from a torn right ACL that he suffered in his senior year. Gray actually received playing time in his second season (all of which came in the preseason) and was said to have some good tackle-breaking ability. That was not enough, however, as Gray was waived on Aug. 31.
So it took from Aug. 31 to Jan. 6 for Gray to find a job. If he was so coveted then another GM would have scooped him up in a heartbeat. Instead, it took over four months for Gray to sign.
This is because a short-yardage power running back is not hard to find. Belichick already has an undrafted free agent running back who can fill that role in the future, and that is Brandon Bolden. In this case, it is best to go with somebody who knows the system better. Gray will likely be waived again at some point, so this signing could very much be a waste.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.