The New York Giants parted ways with veteran Taiwan Jones on October 3, and the question before the Buffalo Bills is now whether they will bring back the running back and special teams ace for a third stint with the team.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Giants released Jones from their practice squad, bringing an end to his tenure with the team. Jones had signed with the Giants in free agency after three years with the Bills, landing on the practice squad but getting called up to the active roster twice to serve in a special teams role.
With Jones headed back to free agency, the Bills could have the opportunity to bolster their practice squad with a steady veteran who was a top special teams player for five seasons in Buffalo.
Giants Bring Back Former Player, Cut Taiwan Jones Loose
Jones, 35, was cut from the practice squad to make room for Justin Pugh, who originally joined the Giants as a first-round draft pick in 2013 and now will provide some much-needed help on the offensive line, which has allowed 23 sacks, the second most in the league.
Jones’s release came as a surprise to some insiders because he was seen as a core special teams player and had strong connections to Giants head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen, who were together with him in Buffalo.
“That’s tough. Went from being a core special teamer on the verge of a spot on the 53 to getting cut,” wrote The Athletic’s Dan Duggan on X.
Bills Could Show Interest
Jones had been highly valued by the Bills, even though he played almost exclusively on special teams. Though he is listed at running back, Jones had no rushing attempts and just six pass targets during his five seasons in Buffalo. He made one catch for 11 yards during that time.
One of Jones’s most memorable plays on offense actually came against the Bills, when he played one season for the Houston Texans in 2019, squeezed between his two separate stints in Buffalo. In an AFC wild-card game against the Bills, Jones made a 34-yard reception in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal.
But Jones was a captain in Buffalo, well-liked among players and fans. Though he was the oldest running back in the NFL, Jones told the Spokesman-Review in February that he still feels ready to play and gave credit to Buffalo’s training staff.
“I feel good,” Jones told the Spokane, Washington, newspaper. “I tip my hat to our athletic training staff and coaches to help me get through the season without missing a game. That was definitely a goal on my list coming into the season.”
At the time, Jones said he enjoyed his role on special teams and felt appreciated by Bills fans despite not getting the limelight that traditional running backs might receive.
“As a special teams player, you don’t really get into the limelight,” he said. “But to hear I still have fans that look for me on special teams plays makes me appreciate them and want to go out and represent those people.”