It's that time of year when TST turns to the community for a little insight, a wisdom of crowds sort of thing, with our preseason stats projections for the St. Louis Rams. Today, we're continuing with special teams. In the comments, give us your predictions for Rams uber punter Donnie Jones, a perennial Pro Bowl wallflower.
Little did we know that when the Rams signed Donnie Jones in 2007, he'd be one of the most important players on the team. Jones signed a five-year, $5.59 million deal with the Rams. He'll make $1.1 million this year before he becomes a free agent. Lucky for Jones, he's set to be a free agent right as punters are starting to make more money on the open market. Agent Jack Bechta shared this insight at the National Football Post yesterday:
One position that is finally getting recognized as a weapon after being taken for granted for a long time is the punter. A good punter can significantly dictate field position throughout a game and get his team out of trouble when backed against the opponent's goal line. And of course, since they can't tackle to save their own life, they have long careers. The five million dollar a year punter is just around the corner. The APY salary for punters is $2.7 million.
Jones has indeed given the Rams good field position, and they finally had a defense that could take advantage of it last year. Of course, an offense among the league's worst at scoring points gave Jones plenty of chances to show off his leg. Here are Jones' career stats, courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to predict the number of punts, total yards and average distance for Donnie Jones in 2011. Bonus points for telling us why or why not the Rams should bring back Jones in 2012.