Eagles Release Mat McBriar, Sign P Donnie Jones

The Eagles signed punter Donnie Jones to a one-year contract Monday and released Mat McBriar.

Jones, formerly of the Texans, is a two-time All-Pro selection.

“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.”

The nine-year veteran ranks fifth in NFL history in both gross (45.6) and net punting average (39.0). In 2008 he became one of seven players in NFL history to record a 50.0 gross average in a single season.

McBriar was coming off a nerve injury in his foot when he signed on with the Eagles last season. He played in 13 games in 2012 and averaged 46.5 yards per punt. As Sheil points out, Football Outsiders had the Eagles ranked as the worst punt/punt coverage unit in the league last year.

According to Adam Caplan, McBriar was due a $50,000 roster bonus at 4 p.m. Monday.

“Mat was nothing but a consummate professional for us in 2012,” said Roseman. “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.”

The Eagles are making a noticeable run on former Texans.


 

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  • devCal

    thanks lechler!

  • Richard Colton

    I’m still not changing my “Eagles draft Brad Wing in the 7th round” prediction. In this league, you can never have too many good punters. Good teams win by punting the ball and defending against the punt.

  • PaoliBulldog

    I’m not sure how much of last year’s poor punt coverage can be laid at McBriar’s nerve-damaged foot. As I eyeball the ESPN punting statistics for 2012, McBriar appears to have the largest gap between gross and net yards (46.5/36.5), which suggests either poor hang times or lousy coverage, or both. Nonetheless, bleacherreports.com’s 2012 punter rankings had McBriar at #21, Lechler at #12 and Jones at #3. So it looks like an upgrade to me.

  • docboy

    did he worked with the eagles’ current special team coach, when he was in miami?

  • Ben

    Bleacher Report is awful for any rankings, the writers are just common fans. But besides that, this should prove to be a definite upgrade.