The 2016 NFL offseason has begun for the Philadelphia Eagles, which means Howie Roseman and new head coach Doug Pederson will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2015 roster. The team went 7-9 last season and improvement is clearly needed. By the time NFL free agency starts on March 9, the Eagles will have a good idea of which players they'll want to bring back for the 2016 season. Today we'll continue this offseason review series by looking at the punter position.
Numbers: 86 punts (6th), 47.0 avg (7th), 64 Long (t-16th), 4039 yards (6th), 2 punts blocked, 8 touchbacks (3rd most), 32 IN20 (t-8th), 42.6 Net punting average (3rd)
Review: Donnie Jones was awesome for the Eagles in 2013. He wasn't so good in 2014, however, and it was fair to wonder if his decline had begun. Jones put those worries to rest by going out and being great again in 2015. He improved from 22nd in net average to third best. During the season, Jones became the first punter in Eagles history to attain a net average of 45 yards or more in four straight games. Jones might not be the most powerful punter but he does a great job when it comes to direction and hang time. In short, he's still very much a stud.
Who Could Leave
The Eagles could cut Jones for a savings of $1.75 million, but then they wouldn't have a punter. It's worth noting that Jones is set to be a free agent after the 2016 season. Keep in mind Jones turns 36 in July.
Who Could Sign
Bringing in an undrafted free agent to "challenge" Jones the way the Eagles did with Kip Smith last offseason makes sense. Plus it means Jones doesn't have to do every punting rep.