Eagles agree to terms with All-Pro punter Donnie Jones, release Mat McBriar
The Eagles have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with All-Pro punter Donnie Jones, the team announced Monday. They also released punter Mat McBriar.
Here's more from the Eagles' press release:
MARCH 25, NOVACARE COMPLEX – Continuing an active 2013 free agent signing period, the Philadelphia Eagles added one of the league’s most accomplished punters in Donnie Jones. A two-time All-Pro selection, Jones agreed to terms on a one-year contract and replaces veteran Mat McBriar, who was released.
Jones will be available to the media today both in person at the NovaCare Complex and on a conference call at 3 pm. To access the call, please dial 866-269-3552.
“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 (6-2, 221) ranks 5th 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.
A four-year letterman at LSU, Jones finished his collegiate career ranked 2nd in school history in gross punting average (42.0), while also finishing as the school’s all-time leader in total punts with 233. The Baton Rouge, LA, native earned all-state honors as a senior at Catholic High School.
Mat 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.
Added Roseman, “Mat was nothing but a consummate professional for us in 2012. 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.”