The Seahawks seem to be trying to find cornerbacks that are going to help them the most in 2021. Recently traded for Sidney Jones might be the answer. There are two ways of thinking of Jones. One, he is a wasted draft pick in round two of the 2017 NFL draft by the Eagles. Two, and most importantly for Seattle, Jones might be a player who has never really had a chance to prove how good he can be.
I spent yesterday’s articles bemoaning the assumption that the Seahawks are still working out the best combination at corner. Or heck, even deciding who is going to start and who is going to back up. Seattle traded Ahkello Witherspoon who they apparently thought would be the next good big corner with the team when they signed him this offseason to a $4 million deal. Seattle seemed to give up on Witherspoon quickly.
The presumed starters week one are D.J. Reed (good for half a season in 2020) and Tre Flowers (good for moments at a time throughout his three-year career). But Jones should be ready to step in and start nearly immediately. Jones has been oft-injured and therefore has not ever been able to prove what he can do.
Sidney Jones might find a long-term home with the Seahawks
Some might argue that 2020 was his best season so far. I don’t think this is the case. Yes, Jones started 6 games for the atrocious Jacksonville Jaguars (the most starters of his career), had his most pass breakups (9) and most tackles (26). But Jones also had a quarterback-rating-allowed of 103.2, his highest mark thus far. He also gave up 20.1 yards a catch and that was also the highest amount of his career.
The reason I think Jones will help the Seahawks in 2021 is his play with the Eagles in the two years before 2020. With the Jaguars, the team was so bad it is hard to measure a cornerbacks value because a corner in the Jaguars system would have been on an island with no help deep and no pass rusher support due to lack of talent elsewhere. Completions were too easy.
But in 2019, Jones had a quarterback-rating-allowed of just 65.1 which is fantastic. Jones also allowed just 51.6 percent of his targets to be completed and had 2 interceptions, the same as in 2020. Jones played on a better Eagles defense and the support he had in the scheme allowed him to be better. And by the way, his QBR-allowed in 2018 was 94.2 which while not great was still better than most of Shaquill Griffin’s years in a Seahawks uniform.
Jones also might simply be more comfortable playing in a city where he went to college (Jones went to the University of Washington) and many times just being in a familiar spot helps a player. But Jones hasn’t ever been bad, just hurt. If he can finally stay healthy, he might be a starting corner in Seattle for many more years.