Philadelphia Eagles: Can Sidney Jones salvage his career back in Seattle?

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Sometimes, when you make a boom or bust move, everything comes up money.

The risk pays off, the rewards are fruitful, and others kick themselves for not having the same foresight, gumption, and resolve to make the same bet themselves.

But other times? Well, they call it a “bust” for a reason.

Despite all of Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles‘ best intentions, his decision to draft Sidney Jones in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft firmly falls into the latter camp.

Sure, the pride of the University of Washington played at least a little bit for the team that drafted him, earning the role of slot cornerback in place of departed starter Patrick Robinson for stretches on 2018 and 2019, but he was ultimately waived by the team unceremoniously in the summer of 2020 to make room for players like Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre’von LeBlanc, neither of whom are still with the team.

But now, after being traded by his second team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2022 sixth-round pick, is there any hope that Sidney Jones can put it all together and salvage a healthy NFL career, or will he forever be remembered as a “what if” story detailed by a pre-draft torn Achilles?

Can the former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback (re)find a home back in Seattle?

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In 2020, the Philadelphia Eagles could have used Sidney Jones.

Now when the season opened up, mind you, at the time, the team was outwardly confident about a four-man rotation featuring Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Cre’Von LeBlanc, but once their depth chart was challenged and players like Craig James, Michael Jacquet, Kevon Seymour, and Blake Countess started to see legitimate playing time in crucial contests?

Yeah, having Jones on the field sure would have been nice.

Jacksonville, by contrast, didn’t have that same problem, as they signed Jones to their practice squad after Howie Roseman cut him loose in the final trim down to 53 and ultimately elevated him to the active roster in time for Week 2. While Jones wasn’t an every-game starter in his first season playing football in Florida, he did earn six versus nine total appearances and ultimately played 27 percent of the Jaguars’ defensive snaps despite spending the final three weeks of the season on IR.

Still, despite signing a one-year contract extension to remain in Jacksonville for the 2021 NFL season, his prospects of making the 53 man roster apparently weren’t too good, as the team opted to trade him to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a sixth-round pick; the very same round the team traded Gardner Minshew for the previous weekend.

But how does Jones fit in with his new team? Honestly, pretty good.

While this may sound rather crazy considering the pedigree of the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” secondary, the team’s cornerbacks position specifically is a bit of a work in progress at the moment, without a single player with more than a dozen games in a navy, green, and grey uniform.

No, the team’s most experienced outside option, outside of Jones, is probably Ahkello Witherspoon, a 6-foot-2 cornerback out of Colorado who spent the last four seasons as a part-time starter across from ex-Seahawk Richard Sherman in San Francisco. Like Jones, Ahkello never quite lived up to his Day 2 draft grade and may soon find himself out of the league entirely if he can’t turn in a plus season with the Seahawks this fall.

If Jones can simply beat out D.J. Reed for the Seahawks’ second outside cornerback spot, maybe he too can get his NFL career back on track and become a long-term starter in the very same city that made him an NCAA star.

And to think, the Philadelphia Eagles will have to go into 2021 with Darius Slay and Steven Nelson starting on the outside. That’s a pretty… wait, do the Eagles actually have a better pair of starting cornerbacks than the Seattle Seahawks? Wow, I didn’t see that one coming.

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To some, especially Philadelphia Eagles fans, Sidney Jones will forever be known as a bust. His game never quite returned to his college peaks following that brutal Achillies injury at Washington’s pro day, and he’s struggled to find a place in the NFL as a result. But personally, I hope Jones can put it all together with the Seattle Seahawks and become an average starter in this his fifth professional NFL season, that is, unless he’s playing the team that drafted him in the playoffs, then I want to see the player of yore who couldn’t beat out Craig James for a roster spot.