Patriots ink kicker


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – The New England Patriots announced Thursday that they’ve brought back safety Tebucky Jones, a starter from their first Super Bowl-winning season, and signed kicker Martin Gramatica.

Terms of deals weren’t disclosed.

Jones, a New Britain, Conn., native, was drafted as a cornerback by the Patriots in 1998. He switched to safety in 2000 and the next season started all three postseason games during New England’s Super Bowl run, recording 15 tackles and an interception.

Jones was traded to New Orleans in 2002 and had the best season of his career with the Saints in 2003, when he had 101 tackles. Jones played in Miami last season and was limited to six games by injury.

Gramatica, who was out of football in 2005, will compete for the job left open by Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri’s departure to the Indianapolis Colts.

Gramatica, 30, spent the 1999-2003 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played 11 games for the team in 2004 before being waived after hitting just 11-of-19 field goal attempts. He was picked up by the Colts later that year as a kickoff specialist.

Gramatica has converted 76.5 percent of his career field goal attempts (137-of-179) and 11-of-12 field goal attempts in the playoffs.

He was selected to the 2000 Pro Bowl.