Philadelphia Eagles: Matt Jones is far from a lock to make the roster

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

In a surprising move, the Philadelphia Eagles have signed ex-Redskins running back Matt Jones to a 2-year contract, but don’t get too attached.

Duce Staley has certainly made his presence known in his first offseason as the assistant head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

After signing Josh Adams as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft, and doubling down on the position by resigning Darren Sproles mere hours later, Staley, Howie Roseman, and the entire Eagles’ front office have brought in another big-bodied running back to further try to replace 2017 lead back LeGarrette Blount, but don’t get attached to the newest member of the team.

Matt Jones, at 6-foot-2, 240-pounds, should be a familiar face for Eagles fans, as at one point, he was a major cog in the Washington Redskins rushing attack.

A third-round pick from the University of Florida, Jones entered the league as a big-bodied power back with the ability to violently plow through the line of scrimmage, but quickly fell out of favor with Washington’s coaching staff after repeatedly struggling to hold on to the ball, recording eight fumbles in only 20 games with the Redskins. Though he did record at least 450 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in each of his first two seasons, Jones’ inability to hold onto the ball made his time in the nation’s capital far briefer than anyone would have guessed, resulting in a surprise cut when the team trimmed their roster down to 53 days before the 2017 NFL season.

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Though Jones did resurface as a member of the Indianapolis Colts shortly thereafter, joining arguably the worst running backs room in the entire league, he only recorded five carries in five games of action with the team.

So, why would the Eagles waste a roster spot on a player that many feel is a liability with the ball in his hands?

Honestly, that’s a good question.

At only 25, Jones still has plenty of tread left on his tires, especially after only receiving 104 carries over the past two seasons, and with the right coach maybe he could cash in on some of that unused potential, but after failing to catch on after three seasons in the league, it’s worth wondering if Jones will ever overcome his fumbling issues to become the player the Redskins predicted he would be when they invested the 95th overall pick on him in 2015 NFL Draft.

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While it appears as though the Eagles are still looking to upgrade the running back position, as they also reportedly brought in former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns third-round pick Terrance West for a visit last week, Jones looks like a low-risk, medium-reward signing who will in all likelihood be fighting with Adams and 2017 fourth round pick Donnel Pumphrey for the team’s fourth running back spot, that is, if they even choose to keep four going into the 2018 NFL season.