Simply put, has Sidney Jones met the Philadelphia Eagles expectations?
When the Philadelphia Eagles selected cornerback Sidney Jones in the 2017 NFL Draft, they envisioned a franchise cornerback that would shut down opposing receivers. Maybe he wasn’t Richard Sherman, but everyone sure hoped that he could be. After three years of futility, the question is are they ready to give up on that vision as the former Washington Husky hasn’t turn out to be that player they hoped they were getting.
Jones played well towards the end of the 2019 season, but there haven’t been many instances in which the cornerback has made game-changing plays. There just aren’t many defining moments to Jones’ name at this point in his young career.
Sidney Jones and the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t up to a good start.
Jones’ NFL career was off to a bad start before it even began when, while performing drills during Washington’s Pro Day in 2017, he suffered a torn Achilles. Maybe, the Eagles should have seen that as a sign of things to come. Instead, they saw a bargain as what was believed to be a first-rounder slid and allowed them to use a second-round draft choice in the corner. If he could heal and return to be a difference-maker, this would have been a slam-dunk.
Looking back, the hype just turned out to be noise, and Jones was inactive for all but one game in 2017. That was the season finale, and in it, he recorded two tackles. That was it. The 2018 season brought more of the same as Jones got injured again. That got everyone worried as everyone began to question whether the decision to invest a second-round pick on him was a wise move.
Jones would get hurt again as he recorded his first interception against the Atlanta Falcons in 2019’s second week. He wouldn’t miss any time, but playing time decreased as questions began to be asked about whether or not the Eagles coaching staff had had enough.
Even though Jones had the best four-game stretch of his career during Philly’s final games of last year’s regular season, he returned to the bench during the Eagles’ playoff game versus the Seattle Seahawks. His Week 17 interception versus the New York Giants came in what amounts to garbage time, and now here we are. In a contract year, everyone is asking the same questions that we were asking two years ago. Can Sidney Jones play?
Is there room for Sidney Jones on the Philadelphia Eagles roster in 2020?
Knowing that the Eagles felt the need to add reinforcements at cornerback says all that needs to be said about how they feel about who they have at corner. They traded a third and a fifth-round selection in 2020’s draft for Darius Slay. They also signed underrated slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman in the offseason. Heading into 2020, “the City of Brotherly love” will have two corners they can rely on. What’s sad is we don’t even know if they believe that Jones is good enough to start on the other side.
Slay is the Eagles’ top cornerback on the depth chart, and Robey-Coleman will man the slot corner duties, and if Philly doesn’t give the other starting cornerback job to Jones, you have to ask the question. Why is he here?
Philly will likely give Avonte Maddox and Cre’Von LeBlanc a look, but the latter is probably better suited to play in a backup slot role. Philly’s brass already knows what they have in Jones, and unless something extraordinary happens or injuries ravage the team, Jones’ ceiling is probably being delegated to a backup role in 2020.