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Donald Scott Jones Jr. (born July 5, 1980) is an American football punter who is currently a free agent. He played college football for Louisiana State University and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He also played for the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Chargers. With the Eagles, he won Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots.

Donnie Jones
refer to caption
Jones with the St. Louis Rams in 2010
Free agent
Position:Punter
Personal information
Born: (1980-07-05) July 5, 1980 (age 39)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Catholic
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
College:LSU
NFL Draft:2004 / Round: 7 / Pick: 224
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Punts:1,157
Punting yards:52,490
Average punt:45.4
Longest punt:80
Inside 20:379
Player stats at NFL.com

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Jones attended Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was a letterman in football.[1] In football, he won All-District honors as a Punter/Tight End and All-State honors as a punter. Jones graduated from Catholic High School in 1999. He averaged more than nine punts per game and never recorded any injury or fatigue.[2]

College careerEdit

Jones was offered scholarships to play football at the University of Oklahoma, LSU, and Ohio State University. He accepted a scholarship to attend Louisiana State University, where he played for the LSU Tigers football team.[3]

As a freshman, Jones had 57 punts for 2,174 net yards for a 38.1 average.[4] As a sophomore, he had 47 punts for 2,052 net yards for a 43.7 average.[5] In his junior season, in the first quarter of the Kentucky game, known as the Bluegrass Miracle, he hit an 86-yard punt, the longest punt in school history.[6] As a junior, he had 64 punts for 2,813 net yards for a 44.0 average.[7] In his senior year, he was involved in the final play of the 2003 National Championship game, when the punt unit took the last snap of the game, and punted to ensure a victory for the team over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.[8] As a senior, he had 65 punts for 2,757 net yards for a 42.4 average. He was a four-year starter, averaging 42.4 yards on his 64 punts during his senior year, with a net average of 39 yards.[9] He landed 22 of those punts inside the 20-yard line, and had seven touchbacks. He majored in finance.

Collegiate statisticsEdit

Year School Class Pos G Punts Yds Avg
2000 LSU Freshman P 11 57 2,174 38.1
2001 LSU Sophomore P 12 47 2,054 43.7
2002 LSU Junior P 13 64 2,813 44.0
2003 LSU Senior P 14 65 2,757 42.4
Career 50 233 9,798 42.1

Professional careerEdit

Seattle SeahawksEdit

Jones was drafted in the seventh-round (224th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2004 NFL Draft. He was one of three punters to be selected that year.[10] He played in six games with Seahawks in between stints on the practice squad during his rookie season. He shared punting duties with Tom Rouen and Ken Walter during the season.[11] On the year, Jones punted 26 times for a 38.0 average with a net of 32.2, six inside-the-20 and two touchbacks.[12] He had a season long with a 51-yard punt against the Carolina Panthers on October 31. On November 14 at the St. Louis Rams, he punted three times for a 49.3-yard gross average and a net of 42.7, when he had another 51-yard punt.[13]

Miami DolphinsEdit

Jones was awarded off waivers to the Miami Dolphins on July 25, 2005. He was released following training camp and re-signed to the practice squad, but was placed on the active roster prior to the season opener. He went on to play in all 16 games in his first season with the Dolphins. On the season, he had 88 punts for a 43.5-yard average, including a net of 39.3, which led the NFL and marked a new Dolphins’ single-season record.[14] He also added 31 punts inside-the-20, which ranked second in the AFC and was a Dolphins’ single-season record as well. Of his 88 punts, 24 went 50 yards or longer, with three traveling 60 yards or longer. He had a punt of 50 yards or longer in all but three games, and had a net average of 40.0 or better in nine games. He also held for placekicker Olindo Mare throughout the season.[15] Jones' performance during the season earned him a selection as a third alternate for the Pro Bowl.

Jones experienced a bit of regression in 2006 compared to the previous year. For the season, he had 85 kicks for 3,640 yards – an average of 42.8 yards per kick. He also had a net average of 35.7 yards per punt, with 28 punts inside the 20-yard line. He had one punt blocked during the season.[16]

Jones was a restricted free agent in the 2007 offseason. He was tendered a contract by the Miami Dolphins on March 2.

St. Louis RamsEdit

On April 13, the St. Louis Rams signed Jones to an offer sheet. Less than a week later, Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller announced that the team would not match the offer sheet and Jones became property of the Rams in exchange for the 225th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. The contract was worth $5.585 million over five years. It included a signing bonus of $1.175 million and salaries of $510,000 in 2007, $700,000 in 2008, $1 million in 2009, $1.1 million in 2010, and $1.1 million in 2011.

In 2007, Jones broke the Rams record for highest punting average in a single season, punting 78 times for a 47.2-yard punting average.[17] The previous record of 45.5-yard punting average lasted 45 years after being set in 1962 by Danny Villanueva.[18] In 2008, he became the first NFL punter to average at least 50 yards per punt since Sammy Baugh in 1940.[19][20] He was voted second-team All-Pro and a first alternate to the Pro Bowl. For the second straight year, he was voted an alternate to the Pro Bowl in 2009. In 2009, he broke the Rams career gross average punt record with a 48.0-yard average, surpassing the 44.3-yard average established by Danny Villanueva from 1961 to 1964.[21] In the 2010 season, he finished with 94 punts for 4,276 net yards for a 45.49 average.[22] In the 2011 season, he finished with 105 punts for 4,652 net yards for a 44.30 average.[23]

Houston TexansEdit

Jones signed a one-year contract with the Houston Texans on March 29, 2012.[24] He was expected to compete with and briefly replace Brett Hartmann as punter while Hartmann served his three-game suspension,[25] but took over as the full-time punter when Hartmann was released. In the 2012 season, he finished with 88 punts for 4,150 net yards for a 47.16 average.[26]

Philadelphia EaglesEdit

 
Jones holding for Jake Elliott during warmups prior to Super Bowl LII

On March 25, 2013, Jones signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.[27] On March 11, 2014, Jones re-signed with the Eagles on a three-year deal worth a maximum of $6 million.[28] During the 2013 season, he set a franchise record[29] for net punting average with 40.4 yards.[30] In the 2014 season, he finished with 76 punts for 3,331 net yards for a 43.83 average.[31] In the 2015 season, he finished with 86 punts for 4,038 net yards for a 46.95 average.[32]

On November 18, 2016, Jones signed a three-year, $5.5 million contract extension with the Eagles through 2019.[33] Overall, in the 2016 season, he finished with 63 punts for 2,888 net yards for a 45.84 average.[34]

In the 2017 season, Jones finished with 67 punts for 3,033 net yards for a 45.27 average.[35] He earned a Super Bowl ring when the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII.[36] Jones recorded the only punt in the game that went 41 yards.[37]

Retirement and ComebackEdit

On February 27, 2018, Jones announced his retirement from the NFL.[38] During his time with the Eagles, Jones set the all-time Eagles gross punting average record with 45.4 yards, punts inside the 20-yard line with 138, and all-time net punting average with 40.5 yards.[39]

On April 4, 2018, Jones requested and was granted his release from the Eagles' reserve/retired list, making him a free agent, citing his desire to play again.[40]

Los Angeles ChargersEdit

On October 2, 2018, Jones signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after the team released Drew Kaser.[41]

Professional statisticsEdit

Year Tm Pos G Pnt Yds Lng Blck Y/P
2004 SEA P 6 26 988 51 1 38.0
2005 MIA P 16 88 3,827 63 0 43.5
2006 MIA P 16 85 3,640 64 1 42.8
2007 STL P 16 78 3,684 80 0 47.2
2008 STL P 16 82 4,100 68 0 50.0
2009 STL P 16 90 4,212 63 0 46.8
2010 STL P 16 94 4,276 63 0 45.5
2011 STL P 16 105 4,652 65 1 44.3
2012 HOU P 16 88 4,150 66 0 47.2
2013 PHI P 16 82 3,681 70 1 44.9
2014 PHI P 16 76 3,331 68 0 43.8
2015 PHI P 16 86 4,038 64 2 47.0
2016 PHI P 16 63 2,888 72 0 45.8
2017 PHI P 16 67 3,033 62 1 45.3
2018 LAC P 12 47 1,990 59 0 42.3
Career 226 1,157 52,490 80 7 45.4

Personal lifeEdit

Donnie is married to Aubrie, and the couple resides in St. Charles, Missouri. Following the 2003 National Championship season at LSU, Jones penned a book titled Nine Seconds to a Championship[42] (ISBN 0-9760181-9-5) about his career as a member of the LSU Tigers football team. He is also known as Thunder Foot, Donnie Long-Ball, Donnie J'Owns, Do-Rag Donnie, and Donnie ‘Bag of Bones’ Jones.[43] Donnie also plays rec league slow pitch slowball in Brentwood,MO and is known for his temper on the basepaths. He earned a new moniker, Donnie "Wahl Burg on my Diamond" Jones.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "CHS Alumnus Donnie Jones '99 Soaring With The Eagles Into Super Bowl LII – Catholic High School". Catholic High. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  2. ^ "Donnie Jones". NFL.com.
  3. ^ "Donnie Jones College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "Donnie Jones 2000 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Donnie Jones 2001 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Former LSU, Catholic High punter Donnie Jones announces retirement – Crescent City Sports". Crescent City Sports. February 27, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "Donnie Jones 2002 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma vs Louisiana State Box Score, January 4, 2004". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  9. ^ "Donnie Jones 2003 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  10. ^ "2004 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "2004 Seattle Seahawks Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  12. ^ "Donnie Jones 2004 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  13. ^ "Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams - November 14th, 2004". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  14. ^ "Donnie Jones 2005 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "2005 Miami Dolphins Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  16. ^ "Donnie Jones 2006 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  17. ^ "Donnie Jones 2007 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  18. ^ "Cleveland/LA/St. Louis Rams Single-Season Kicking & Punting Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  19. ^ "Donnie Jones 2008 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  20. ^ "NFL Yards per Punt Single-Season Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "Donnie Jones 2009 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  22. ^ "Donnie Jones 2010 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  23. ^ "Donnie Jones 2011 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  24. ^ Silva, Evan (March 29, 2012). "Texans sign former Rams punter Donnie Jones". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  25. ^ Florio, Mike (May 22, 2012). "Hartmann explains his three-game suspension". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  26. ^ "Donnie Jones 2012 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  27. ^ "P Donnie Jones Added; McBriar Released". PhiladelphiaEagles.com. March 25, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  28. ^ Alper, Josh (March 11, 2014). "Eagles sign Donnie Jones for three more years". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  29. ^ "Position-By-Position Look: Defense, Special Teams". PhiladelphiaEagles.com. August 30, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  30. ^ "Donnie Jones 2013 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  31. ^ "Donnie Jones 2014 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  32. ^ "Donnie Jones 2015 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  33. ^ McPherson, Chris (November 18, 2016). "Why Not? Eagles Extend Donnie Jones". PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
  34. ^ "Donnie Jones 2016 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  35. ^ "Donnie Jones 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  36. ^ "Eagles dethrone Tom Brady, Patriots for first Super Bowl title in stunner". USA TODAY. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  37. ^ "Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots - February 4th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  38. ^ "Donnie Jones Announces Retirement from NFL". PhiladelphiaEagles.com. February 27, 2018.
  39. ^ "Philadelphia Eagles Career Kicking & Punting Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  40. ^ Hagemann, Andie (April 4, 2018). "Ex-Eagles punter Donnie Jones eyeing return to NFL". NFL.com. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  41. ^ Henne, Ricky (October 2, 2018). "Chargers Make Punter Switch; Sign Donnie Jones". Chargers.com.
  42. ^ "Former LSU punter writes book". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 23, 2004. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  43. ^ Stephens, Dr. Mark R. (December 6, 2015). "The Fanatic ESPN Radio". ESPN Radio. Christopher Allen. Retrieved December 31, 2017.

External linksEdit