Originally, the NovaCare auditorium was set up for a two-microphone press conference Friday afternoon, which is how the Eagles roll when Andy Reid is ready to announce a signing the team considers notable -- that was the arrangement last Saturday when Stacy Andrews was introduced.
But just before Sean Jones addressed reporters, an Eagles staffer took one of the mikes down from the podium. Jones flew solo as he discussed the one-year deal he signed to bolster a safety corps that has lost Brian Dawkins and Sean Considine to free agency. Negotiations ran longer than expected, the Eagles said, and Reid had to leave for the Maxwell Club awards banquet in Atlantic City. You have to wonder, though, if the fact that both sides ended up settling for a one-year deal made this less of a big moment than the team originally anticipated.
Basically, the Birds are renting a safety. Jones, coming off knee surgery early last season, didn't have the 2008 he would have liked to have had entering free agency. The Eagles, presumably like other teams, weren't willing to venture the kind of contract he was looking for, but they needed reinforcements, even if they did like what Quintin Demps showed as a rookie. So the one-year deal benefits both parties. Jones gets a year with a team he feels can be a contender, to construct a better platform for free agency. The Eagles get a 27-year-old guy who has been a solid NFL starter, if not a star, and if it turns out Demps and Quintin Mikell are a better safety combo, the team's investment in Jones can end after 2009. If he really fits in well and his knee is fine, they can work on an extension.
Here's more on Jones from today's Daily News.