On Second Thought, Donnie Jones Wants to Keep Playing
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - On second thought, Donnie Jones wants to keep playing football.
It will not be for the Philadelphia Eagles, however.
Jones, who originally decided to retire after 14 productive seasons in the NFL, the last of which resulted in a Super Bowl LII championship with Philadelphia, requested and received his release Wednesday from the Eagles' reserve/retired list.
The reason why is because Jones has reversed course and wants to keep playing, according to the NFL Network.
Originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in back in 2004, Jones went on to become a two-time All-Pro punter in St. Louis and ended up kicking in 214 regular-season games, the final 80 with the Eagles. He cited spending time with his family as the reason for walking away originally.
“After 14 seasons in the NFL, I have decided to retire so that I can spend more time with my family,” Jones explained. “I am grateful for all those who have supported me throughout the years. Specifically, I would like to thank Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson and the entire Eagles organization for allowing me to be a part of their family for the past five seasons."
Jones "finished" his career with a 45.5 gross average on 1,110 punts and left the City of Brotherly Love as the franchise's all-time leader in both gross punting average (45.37) and net average (40.5). He also owns the team records for most career punts inside the 20 (138), most single-season punts inside the 20 (34, 2014) and best net punting average in a season (41.6, 2015).
Jones arrived in Philadelphia as a free agent in 2013 after spending the 2012 season with Houston. Prior to punting for the Texans, he was with the Rams (2007-2011), Miami Dolphins (2005-06) and Seahawks (2004). He is the longest-tenured Eagles punter with 80 regular-season contests and ends his career with 208 game ironman streak, third in the NFL behind fellow punter Shane Lechler (254) and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (235).
The heir apparent to Jones In Philadelphia likely remains Cameron Johnston, an undrafted free agent last year out of Ohio State. Johnston was with the Eagles through training camp last year and was brought back on a futures deal.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen