Mark Jones (American football)

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Mark Jones
No. 5
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1980-11-03) November 3, 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth: Wallingford, Pennsylvania
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 7 / Pick: 206
Debuted in 2004 for the New York Giants
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2008
Kick return yards 1,045
Punt return yards 1,460
Stats at NFL.com

Mark Christopher Jones (born November 3, 1980 in Wallingford, Pennsylvania) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tennessee.

Jones has also been a member of the New York Giants, San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers.

College career[edit]

After leading Strath Haven High School to two PIAA state championships, Mark Jones played all over the field at the University of Tennessee, seeing action at wide receiver, safety, punt returner, and kick returner. For his career, he caught 36 passes for 556 yards (a 15.4 avg.) and five touchdowns, all during his senior season in 2003. He also rushed seven times for 65 yards. As a defensive back, Jones racked up 116 career tackles, four interceptions, ten defended passes, two forced fumbles, one tackle for a loss, and one recovered fumble. On the special teams side of the ball, he returned 46 punts for 543 yards and one touchdown; he also returned four kickoffs for 138 yards and one touchdown. His longest kickoff return was 82 yards for a touchdown against the University of Alabama in his junior year (2002). In his senior year, he ranked second in the SEC and third in the national standings, averaging 15.7 yards per punt return. Jones majored in psychology.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

First stint with Buccaneers[edit]

Jones was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 206th pick of the 2004 NFL Draft. However, he was waived on September 5, 2004.

New York Giants[edit]

Jones was then picked up by the New York Giants the next day. Jones was the primary punt returner for the Giants, starting in 14 games at the spot. He also lined up at wide receiver and defensive back occasionally throughout the season. Jones finished the season with 227 yards on 34 returns (6.7 average) and his longest return was for 29 yards. He also returned two kickoffs for 37 yards, with a long of 20 yards. Jones, however did not make an impact with the Giants, and after missing the last two games with an injury, was released.

Second stint with Buccaneers[edit]

The Giants released Mark Jones on September 3, 2005, and he was picked up by the Bucs on September 7. He started in all sixteen regular season games and the Buccaneers' only playoff game against the Washington Redskins. Because of the Buccaneers' #1 defense, the opposing team was forced to punt to Jones, which is why he led the team with an NFL-best 51 punt returns for 492 yards. In a game against the Atlanta Falcons, Jones returned a punt in overtime 28 yards to set up a game-winning Matt Bryant field goal. Jones returned four punts for 37 yards in the NFC Wild Card game. Following a season-ending knee injury suffered on October 21, 2007, Jones was placed on IR October 24.

San Diego Chargers[edit]

On June 20, 2008, Jones signed with the San Diego Chargers. He was released on August 30 during final cuts.

Carolina Panthers[edit]

Jones was signed by the Carolina Panthers after the team waived wide receiver Dominique Thompson.

Tennessee Titans[edit]

Jones was signed by the Tennessee Titans on March 18, 2009 after incumbent returner Chris Carr signed with the Baltimore Ravens. The Titans released Jones on September 4. He was re-signed on September 29. On May 25, 2010 his contract was terminated.

Personal[edit]

Mark Jones was a community contributor with the Giants in 2004, helping out as a professor at the Giants' "Football 101" program in New York. He also spoke to children in New York elementary schools about staying healthy and making right choices. In high school, he was a starting tailback and defensive back for four years at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. He was the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Player of the Year and USA Today Player of the Year for Pennsylvania in 1999. Jones led his high school team to a 15-0 record as a senior and was named Class 3A All-State.

External links[edit]