Monday, March 25, 2013

Eagles bring in veteran P Donnie Jones

Eagles P Donnie Jones
PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles have signed one of the league’s most accomplished punters in former Houston Texan Donnie Jones, a two-time All-Pro selection.

Jones agreed to terms on a one-year contract and replaces fellow veteran Mat McBriar, who was released.

“Donnie Jones is a guy that we have admired over the last several years,” said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. “He has one of the strongest legs in the entire NFL and we’re excited we had a chance to sign him. We watched a lot of tape on him and he’s coming off a very good season with Houston. We feel he’ll add a good element to our special teams units.”

A veteran of nine NFL seasons with the Houston Texans (2012), St. Louis Rams (2007-11), Miami Dolphins (2005-06) and Seattle Seahawks (2004), Jones (6-foor-2, 221 pounds)  ranks fifth in NFL history in both gross (45.6) and net punting average (39.0).

A two-time, All-Pro selection with St. Louis from 2008-09, the 32-year-old Jones holds Rams franchise records in punts, gross average and net average. Jones is one of seven players in NFL history to record a 50.0 gross average in a single season, accomplishing that feat in 2008.

Originally a seventh round draft choice of the Seahawks in 2004, Jones has played in 135 career games and recorded 736 punts, including 226 downed inside the 20-yard line. In his lone season with the Texans in 2012, Jones set team punting records with a gross average of 47.1 and a net of 40.5. He also recorded a franchise-best 54.2 yards per punt against the Denver Broncos on September 23.

McBriar played in 13 games with the Eagles in 2012 and averaged 46.5 yards on 55 punts, including 13 downed inside the 20-yard line.

"Mat was nothing but a consummate professional for us in 2012," Roseman said. "He battled back from a tough injury situation to punt very well last year. We just decided to go in a different direction with Donnie and we wish Mat and his family all the best as he continues his NFL career.”

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