Kevin Jones says he wouldn't mind playing next season for the Eagles, the team he was a fan of during his youth in Chester. The 6-1, 230-pound, 4-year NFL running back and former Cardinal O'Hara High star was released by the Detroit Lions on Thursday, opening up plenty of options for next season.

Two hours after the Lions' release was made public, 12 teams showed interest, according to Jones, including the Eagles.

"I can't say that I knew the Lions were going to make this move and release me, but I always felt in my heart that I wouldn't be a Detroit Lion for my whole career, I don't know where it came from, but it was just a feeling I always had," said Jones, who was drafted 30th overall by Detroit in 2004 after his junior season at Virginia Tech.

"When the Lions drafted me, it came as a big shock, because they weren't that much in the picture. It wasn't my dream situation. It would be a dream, however, to play for the Eagles. Going back to Philly, with all my relatives and friends back there, that's home to me. Chester will always be home to me. I have a real support system there in Philadelphia. Playing for the Eagles would be great."

Jones' best season was his rookie year, when he rushed for 1,133 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games. In 4 years in the NFL, he rushed for 3,067 yards on 761 carries, with 24 touchdowns.

Last season, he recovered from a Lisfranc injury in his left foot to play 13 games. His first game was against the Eagles on Sept.23, scoring a touchdown in the Eagles' 56-21 blowout victory.

In 2007, Jones rushed for 581 yards and a career-best eight touchdowns. He had a number of outstanding games, rushing for a season-best 105 yards and a touchdown at Chicago on Oct.28; rushing 20 times for 93 yards against Green Bay on Nov.22; and 23 times for 92 yards and two TDs against Dallas on Dec.9.

Jones suffered a torn ACL in his right knee against Kansas City on Dec.23 and immediately had surgery.

"I'll be ready by July, I'm ahead of schedule right now and I still think...no, I know I can still play in the NFL," Jones said. "I just look at this whole thing as another challenge. I've faced doubts and challenges my whole life, so this is nothing new for me. I've overcome injuries, so rehabbing is nothing new. My knee right now feels real good.

"This is a great situation for me, because now I can shop myself around and see what's out there. I want to go somewhere where I can get the ball and have a chance to compete. I want to play for a team that has a winning history. I want to say this, too, I didn't get cut because of my talent and ability to perform."

And sharing a backfield with Eagles star Brian Westbrook...

"Are you kidding me? That would be awesome," Jones said. "I'd love to play with Brian Westbrook. He's one of the best backs, if not the best back in the league. I definitely wouldn't mind doing that. I can learn some things from Brian Westbrook."

Jones said he had no visits to any NFL teams scheduled, but: "I'm ready to move on from the Lions. I'm sad to be leaving Detroit not on my terms, but I am happy with the opportunity I have right now. Within 2 hours of being told I was cut, my agent spoke to 12 different teams. Apparently, some people still think I can play in this league." *