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WR Jones is claimed by Giants

RICK STROUD
Published September 7, 2004

TAMPA - Rookie receiver Mark Jones is good enough to play in the NFL. Just not for the Bucs.

Tampa Bay's seventh-round draft pick was claimed off waivers Monday by the New York Giants, one day after he was released along with 15 other players.

The Bucs had hoped to sign Jones to their eight-man practice squad Monday and he was prepared to re-sign until learning that the Giants had claimed him on their 53-man roster.

Jones, who caught two passes for 32 yards and returned two kickoffs for 41 yards in the preseason, is expected to serve as the Giants kick returner.

Two other Bucs draft picks decided to find new teams. Tight end Nate Lawrie, a sixth-round pick, was signed to the Eagles' practice squad. The 6-foot-7, former Yale star played in the first two preseason games.

"I worked hard after my senior season to be in this league," Lawrie said. "It's something I want to do. It's something I have the ability to do."

Cornerback Lenny Williams, the last of two seventh-round picks, was signed to the Cowboys' practice squad. He was released two weeks ago when the team trimmed its roster to 65.

The Bucs did not release information about their practice squad. Former Giants defensive end Issac Hilton, however, visited One Buc Place and is expected to sign. PRACTICE CANCELED: The Bucs canceled practice Monday, their first official day of preparation for the regular-season opener Sunday at the Redskins. Players have had three of the past four days off. Practice is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. today.

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