Speculation Over Sidney Jones’ Future Rages After Eagles Add Veteran CB

Giants a prime landing spot for newly-released Eagles CB Trevor Williams

Getty Ex-Chargers CB Trevor Williams defends a pass intended for Michael Crabtree

The Eagles signed veteran cornerback Trevor Williams on Monday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Was the move simply for increased depth in the secondary? Or is the team finally ready to move on from Sidney Jones?

Earlier in the day, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz admitted that “time was running short” for Jones to earn a spot. Avonte Maddox has all but cemented his role as the starting outside corner opposite Darius Slay. And with Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre’Von LeBlanc taking their immense talents to the slot, that leaves Jones to fight for a backup role against bubble guys like Craig James and Elijah Riley.

Williams’ presence only clouds the picture further for Jones. There were huge expectations for the former second-round pick (43rd overall in 2017) coming into training camp but he’s stuck on the sideline with a lower-body injury. When he was on the field, Jones was relegated to reps with the second-team defense.

None of it bodes well for Jones. The arrival of Williams could signal a sign that Philly is set to cut him and save about $1.3 million in cap space. Worse yet, his trade value is at an all-time low.

“I think about Sidney Jones and young players that we have had on our roster now and it’s time,” head coach Doug Pederson said at the start of padded practices on Aug. 17. “It’s time for these guys to really make their mark on their careers in the National Football League. So I’ve been excited about them.”

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Williams Making Second Stint with Eagles

Williams spent some time last season on the Eagles’ practice squad before signing a reserve/futures contract in January. Then, the team released the 26-year-old on July 21 and went into camp with eight cornerbacks on the roster. His services weren’t needed at the time.

Now Williams is back and might actually have a legitimate shot at sticking around. Despite going undrafted out of Penn State in 2016, Williams has seen significant snaps in the NFL and flashed potential (for example, this 86-yard almost-pick six) with three career interceptions. That’s more than everyone in the Eagles’ secondary not named Darius Slay or Nickell Robey-Coleman. Williams also has recorded 110 combined tackles and 22 passes defensed in 39 games (27 starts).

The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder has the size to match up with bigger, stronger receivers, not to mention the speed. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds at his pro day in 2016. Williams has spent time with the Chargers and Cardinals during a semi-productive four-year NFL career. This isn’t a move normally made for depth. He could win a spot and see time in Philly. Remember, he was battling back from a serious knee injury in 2019.

“I have to tell you, Trevor looks outstanding. His confidence is back,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said of Williams in 2019. “He’s playing like it in practice. His change-of-direction is night-and-day [different].”

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