Up today: Sidney Jones
How acquired: 2017 2nd-round pick
Entering: Year 4
If you haven’t figured it out, Sidney Jones is going to end up on this list until one of two things happen:
1. He finally has a breakout season
2. He’s no longer on the team
Because the important thing to remember about Jones is how much promise he once had. When the Eagles drafted Jones, torn Achilles and all, with the 43rd pick in 2017 it was because they thought they were getting a no-doubt-about-it first-round talent. That hasn’t quite worked out.
Jones came back from that Achilles injury but has never looked like a first-round pick in Philadelphia. Other injuries have really hampered him and even when he’s healthy, he hasn’t been able to turn into a star or even solidify a starting job.
It’s really not fair to look at Jones’ 2017 season because he played in just that regular season finale and we all kind of expected that to be a lost year as he recovered from the torn Achilles he suffered at Washington’s pro day. But 2018 and 2019 have been disappointing.
In the last two seasons, Jones has played in 21 games and has started eight. There have been ups and downs in the last two seasons but Jones hasn’t played well enough or consistent enough to earn a full-time starting job and that’s troubling because the Eagles have really struggled at the cornerback position for the last few seasons.
So why is there still a chance for Jones?
Well, he just turned 24. He came into the NFL young, so he’s not as old as many players who were drafted that season.
And there have been glimpses of the player Jones can be. We saw it during the 2019 season. Jones made two clutch plays in December against the Giants and the Cowboys in crucial games for the Eagles. After the big play against the Cowboys on Dec. 22, Jones spoke about his early-career struggles and said the support from his teammates means a lot.
Jones needs to stay healthy and then find consistency. There’s still a hope he can do that.
“Adversity builds character," Jones said to John Clark in April. "I feel like I have weathered the storm. I am ready to show what I can do and prove it."
Coming into the 2020 season, Jones will likely be battling with Avonte Maddox for the Eagles’ CB2 job opposite Darius Slay. It’s an important role for the Eagles, especially if teams choose to not throw at the perennial Pro Bowler.
Back in March, Eagles GM Howie Roseman said it’s time for Jones to prove it.
If he does, he could finally have that breakout season.
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