At a game in Denver in November, 2010.
|No. 8 Philadelphia Eagles|
|Date of birth:||July 5, 1980|
|Place of birth:||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||221 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Baton Rouge (LA) Catholic|
|NFL draft:||2004 / Round: 7 / Pick: 224|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2014|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Donald Scott Jones, Jr. (born July 5, 1980) is an American football punter for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Louisiana State University (LSU). He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and has also played for the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans of the NFL.
Jones attended Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was a letterman in football. 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 9+ punts per game and never recorded any injury or fatigue.
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. 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 ran out the last nine seconds of the clock to ensure a victory for the team. In the first quarter of the November 9, 2002 LSU-Kentucky game, known as the Bluegrass Miracle, Jones hit an 86-yard punt, the longest punt in school history. 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. He landed 22 of those punts inside the 20-yard line, and had seven touchbacks. He majored in finance.
Jones was drafted in the seventh-round (224th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2004 NFL Draft. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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 3640 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.
Jones was a restricted free agent in the 2007 offseason. He was tendered a contract by the Miami Dolphins on March 2.
St. Louis Rams
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 is worth $5.585 million over five years. It includes 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 he broke the Rams record for highest punting average in a single season, punting 78 times for a 47.2-yard punting average. The previous record of 45.5-yard punting average, lasted 45 years after being set in 1962 by Danny Villanueva.
In 2008, Jones became the first NFL punter to average at least 50 yards per punt since Sammy Baugh in 1940. He was voted Second-team All-Pro and a first alternate to the Pro Bowl. For the second straight year Jones 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 yards average established by Danny Villanueva from 1961 to 1964.
Jones signed a one-year contract with the Houston Texans on March 29, 2012. He was expected to compete with and briefly replace Brett Hartmann at punter while he served his three game suspension, but took over as the full-time punter when Hartmann was released.
On March 25, 2013 Jones signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. On March 11, 2014, Jones re-signed with the Eagles on a three year deal worth a maximum of $6 million. During the 2013 season he set a franchise record for net punting average with 40.4 yards.
Donnie is married to Aubrie, and the couple resides in St. Charles, MO. Following the 2003 National Championship season at LSU, Jones penned a book titled Nine Seconds to a Championship (ISBN 0-9760181-9-5) about his career as a member of the LSU Tigers football team. He is also known as Thunder Foot and Donnie Long-Ball.
- Jones, Donnie. "Punter". NFL.com. Nfl.com.
- Texans sign former Rams punter Donnie Jones
- Hartmann explains his three-game suspension | ProFootballTalk
- P Donnie Jones Added; McBriar Released
- Alper, Josh. "Eagles sign Donnie Jones for three more years". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
- Position-By-Position Look: Defense, Special Teams
- ESPN.com - Former LSU punter writes book (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=ncf&id=1845145)