Seahawks Predicted to Cut Former ‘Highly Touted’ Veteran

Pete Carroll

Getty The Seahawks could release -- rather than trade -- CB Sidney Jones.

The Seattle Seahawks could move on from a former “highly-touted” veteran before trading him.

As noted by SB Nation’s John P. Gilbert, the Seahawks could release cornerback Sidney Jones rather than trade him. Gilbert notes that the return of cornerback Tre Brown from injury could lead to his return as soon as the team’s Week 8 matchup versus the New York Giants. If that’s the case, Seattle would have to make a roster move in order to create space for Brown on the 53-man roster.

Because their game takes place before the trade deadline on Tuesday, Nov. 1, the Seahawks could instead decide to release Jones.

“With very limited opportunities for the Hawks to free up additional cap space and second year cornerback Tre Brown set to potentially return from the Physically Unable to Perform list, the Seahawks could make a move that would surprise many and release Sidney Jones,” says Gilbert.

Jones Has Fallen out of Favor in Seahawks’ Rotation

Jones emerged as a solid starter for the Seahawks last season after he was traded to the team from the Jacksonville Jaguars prior to the start of the 2021 season. The 26-year-old Jones started 11 of 16 games and finished with 66 tackles and a team-leading 10 pass deflections. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones posted a 70.2 defensive grade last season, ranking 25th among all cornerbacks (with at least 500 snaps).

However, Jones has fallen out of favor in Seattle this year due to the Seahawks favoring their younger cornerbacks. As noted by Gilbert, Jones’ concussion during training camp led to Seattle using the 23-year-old Tariq Woolen, 25-year-old Mike Jackson and 23-year-old Coby Bryant as their top three cornerbacks.

“But then, once again, things were derailed by a concussion during training camp, which opened the door for youngsters behind Jones, and they seized the opportunity,” says Gilbert. “Tariq Woolen has staked his claim to one starting cornerback role, with Mike Jackson holding things down on the other side and Coby Bryant emerging as the nickel.”

Jones has appeared in just three games with 45 defensive snaps, appearing in only 21 percent of the team’s snaps during his three appearances.

Releasing Jones Benefits Seahawks Financially

Assuming Brown is healthy enough to return, Seattle would have seven healthy cornerbacks. They typically have four cornerbacks active on gameday.

Outside of the fact that the Seahawks would simply feature too many cornerbacks, releasing Jones makes sense from a salary cap standpoint.

“So far in 2022 Jones has been active for four games and inactive for the other three,” says Gilbert. “That means he has earned $160,000 of $680,000, but the Hawks will not receive a credit on the cap for any unearned per game roster bonuses until 2023. Or, as note, the Hawks could accelerate their receipt of cap credit for unearned per game roster bonuses for Jones if he is no longer on the roster. Thus, while releasing him would not save any cap space on the base salary side, doing so would free up $480,000 of cap space that is currently tied up in per game roster bonuses.”

The former second-round draft pick was once a highly-touted prospect at the University of Washington. In fact, he was projected to be a first-round pick before suffering an Achilles’ injury at Washington’s Pro Day.

“Jones, of course, was a highly touted prospect out of the University of Washington, but whose fortunes took a turn towards misfortune when he tore his Achilles tendon at his pro day in the lead up to the 2017 draft,” said Gilbert.

The veteran cornerback has failed to find a stable home home during his six seasons in the league, having also been released by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020.

There is little doubt that Jones will be able to generate interest, whether that’s through free agency or a trade. However, Seattle may be pressed to release Jones before they’re able to trade him.

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