Seahawks Bolster Defense With Cornerback Trade

Sidney Jones

Getty Sidney Jones tackles Rashard Higgins during a 2021 preseason game.

The Seattle Seahawks have completed a trade to add depth to the defense. According to the Jacksonville Jaguars PR department, cornerback Sidney Jones is heading back to the Pacific Northwest where he spent his college football career as a member of the Washington Huskies.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the news on Monday, Aug. 30, adding that the Seahawks will send a sixth-round pick to the Jaguars in exchange for Jones. The 25-year-old will immediately compete for snaps alongside DJ Reed, rookie Tre Brown, and Ahkello Witherspoon among others. Though Gregg Bell of the “Tacoma News Tribune” noted that the trade likely means that the Seahawks will cut Tre Flowers to reach the 53-man roster limit.

A former second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jones originally fell in the draft after tearing his Achilles at the University of Washington’s Pro Day. He has since started 14 games at the NFL level — eight for the Eagles over three years — while appearing in 31 total.

Standing at 6 feet tall and weighing 181 pounds with 31.5-inch arms, Jones has the height and reach to line up on the outside and face off with bigger receivers. Witherspoon and Reed will reportedly be the top two options entering the first game of the regular season, but Jones should see considerable time on the field as the Seahawks strive to limit opposing offenses.

Jones is the second cornerback the Seahawks have acquired via trade in recent weeks. The team also landed John Reid in a deal with the Texans, sending a conditional seventh-round pick in 2023 as compensation.


2020 Was a Career Year for Jones

Following three seasons in Philly, Jones headed to Jacksonville and landed on the practice squad. He joined the active roster on Sept. 14, 2020, and kicked off what became a career year.

The former UW standout appeared in nine total games, intercepted two passes, and registered nine passes defensed. He allowed completions on 22 of 38 passes thrown his way for three total touchdowns, a 57.9% completion rate.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jones tied for 95th out of 163 eligible cornerbacks with 45-plus defensive snaps played this preseason while earning a grade of 60.1. However, he earned a career-high coverage grade of 71.33 from PFF during the 2020 season, topping his new teammate in Flowers.


Jones Drew Comparisons to Marcus Peters in College

Prior to the 2017 NFL Draft, analyst Lance Zierlein listed the pros and cons of Jones in his draft profile. Zierlein noted in the piece that Jones “maximizes contact” with receivers within five yards of the line of scrimmage and added that the corner prioritizes the ball over the receiver at the point of contact.

“Jones is a ‘casino cornerback’ who has the ball skills and instincts to tilt the odds in his favor when quarterbacks look his way,” Zierlein wrote. “His toughness and desire to make plays on the ball is remarkably similar to his friend and off-season workout buddy, Marcus Peters.

“Jones has lockdown corner talent but will have to prove he can add muscle without sacrificing speed,” Zierlein continued. “His football character and play traits should make him a long-time starter with Pro Bowl potential.”

Jones has yet to meet the expectations laid out by Zierlein ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft, but he will have the opportunity to do so as he plays for his third team in three years. He will suit up for the Seahawks and strive to make a positive impact, starting with the first game of the season on Sept. 12.

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