There’s no more excuses for Sidney Jones.
Even Howie Roseman admits it now.
“It’s time for him to go prove it,” he said.
Jones has been an off-the-charts disappointment since the Eagles drafted him, his career marred by injuries and disappointing play since the Eagles drafted him in the second round in 2017.
And as Roseman rebuilds the Eagles’ secondary this offseason, it’s natural to wonder where Jones fits in right now.
Or more accurately ... if he fits in.
Sidney is a guy that, he really has to have the opportunity to have an offseason where instead of rehabbing he’s really working on his body and coming into camp (healthy),” Roseman said Thursday. “Because we do feel like this is a guy that when we’ve seen him healthy he does have a skill set. He’s got to go prove it. This is now really his third year of playing, when we look at it, because that first year (he was rehabbing), so it’s time for him to go prove it.
Jones missed nearly all his rookie year rehabbing his pro day Achilles injury, but the last two years have been lost years for Jones, other than a play here or a play there that briefly gives you hope.
Rasul Douglas, taken one round later than Jones, has at least started 18 games and picked off five passes. He’s been a functional player.
But the Eagles have spent most of this offseason rebuilding the secondary largely because of that 2017 draft, when they took Jones in the second round and Douglas in the third.
“When you draft guys in the second and third round and you’re now in the fourth year, you obviously want them to contribute,” Roseman said. “If they don’t contribute, then you’re dealing with a situation where you have to go outside the organization.”
The Eagles did just that last week, when they traded for Darius Slay and signed him to a three-year, $50 million extension.
If Jones was what the Eagles hoped? They never have to go out and spend that $50 million.
The Eagles have also added seven-year veteran cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman and brought back Jalen Mills, who projects as a hybrid safety-corner.
Jones is 23 and Douglas is 24. They should be in their prime as starting corners right now.
Instead, they’re guys the Eagles are frantically trying to replace.
Let’s be honest,” Roseman said. “Let’s call a spade a spade. There’s no doubt about it. I think when we were looking at those guys coming out, just talking about Sidney, we knew the talent level Sidney had shown in college, and we also knew that he was dealing with an injury, and that we were taking a chance on a guy that had to recover. And we felt like if we red-shirted him (in 2017) we could get him back to where that was. And we’ve seen flashes of it. But we’ve got to get more consistent with it and I think that Sidney knows that this is a pivotal year for him, pivotal offseason because even last year he was rehabbing from something. That’s big for him.
Douglas is in a slightly different situation than Jones because he was taken a round later than Jones and has at least been a starter at different points each of his three seasons.
But the reality is that when the Eagles lined up to play the Seahawks in the playoffs, Jim Schwartz elected not to give either Jones or Douglas a single snap.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the Eagles’ future at cornerback includes Slay, Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Robey-Coleman and most likely a draft pick.
Seems like even Roseman is starting to agree.
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