We briefly reported yesterday that strong safety Sean Jones agreed to a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. One of the better players that the Browns had on defense, the team now has a gaping hole in a defensive backfield that was already sub standard.
But while it is definitely sad to see him go, as I did have hopes that the team could at least attempt to reach out to him to get a contract discussion underway, a brief note from his press conference yesterday is very telling. When asked about whether or not he was sad to leave the Browns, Jones’ reply was:
“I think it was the change in regime. I still haven’t met [Browns head coach Eric] Mangini. If I had gone to visit them, it would have been the same as me coming here, because I would be meeting everybody the same way. I’m just grateful for this opportunity to come here and play with the Eagles. I just can’t wait to get out there and meet some of my new teammates and get this thing rolling.”
You have one of the bigger free agents on the team, and he never got to meet the new head coach. I know that there has been a lot of talk as of late regarding what communication is necessary versus what is not. Shaun Rogers felt disrespected when Eric Mangini did not address him at an awards banquet. Kellen Winslow wanted the team to reach out to him when he was in the hospital. But with Jones, I think that this was a situation that at least needed to be addressed.
Perhaps the team had no intentions of bringing him back, thus feeling no need to talk to him? After all, he was a free agent. But to me, this seems a bit odd. Of course, this is also just another item to point out in terms of Mangini’s infamous lack of communication skills that have been pointed out throughout his career.
Best of luck to Jones in Philadelphia. I just hope that the Browns can now find someone in the market to plug in at strong safety to help anchor a defense that is in much need of improvement.
(Many thanks to The OBR for the transcript)