- Chris Mortensen, NFL reporter
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With almost a half-dozen teams expressing interest in Matt Jones in recent weeks, the former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver worked out Tuesday morning with the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to league sources.
Jones, who caught 65 passes in 12 games in 2008, has been considered by teams that are looking for a big target at receiver, capable of picking up first downs and creating matchup problems in the red zone.
Jones, 6-foot-6 and 228 pounds, caught the ball extremely well, a Buccaneers source said.
Later in the day, however, Tampa Bay announced the signing of wide receiver Yamon Figurs. The Bucs source said that the team valued Figurs' speed at this time but that they will continue to monitor Jones as a candidate at the position.
Jones was a first-round pick of the Jaguars before encountering off-field problems that led to his release in mid-March.
He had been jailed just days before for violating the terms of his plea agreement that stemmed from a drug charge in 2008. He also was suspended by the NFL for the last three games of the 2008 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
The Tennessee Titans had him atop their wide receiver free-agent list after an impressive workout by Jones until a special-teams need changed their priority.
A former Arkansas quarterback who converted to receiver, Jones once ran a 4.37 in the 40, though his speed never translated into a consistent deep threat.
Among the teams contemplating Jones are the Cowboys, Dolphins, Jets and Bears, sources said.
The Bucs' 0-5 start has been marked by miscues, including a number of dropped passes by the receiving corps.
In a corresponding move to the Figurs signing, the Buccaneers released linebacker Matt McCoy. They also signed offensive lineman Marc Dile to the practice squad and released wide receiver Pat Carter and defensive tackle Rashaad Duncan from the practice squad.
Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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