December 30, 2017
The Philadelphia Eagles announced Saturday that they have activated Sidney Jones off their NFI (non-football injury) list, and he will join the 53-man roster immediately.
According to a source, Jones will be active on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Jones ruptured his Achilles at his pro day back in March, before the 2017 NFL Draft in April. He would have been a target of the Eagles with the 14th-overall pick in the first round had he not gotten hurt, but because of his injury, Jones slid to the second round, where the Birds snapped him up.
When he's healthy, Jones has outstanding ball skills and confidence. In an interview with PhillyVoice back in April, Ron Jaworski said Jones was the best corner in the draft before he got hurt.
"Sidney Jones would have been the top guy," said Jaworski. "He was the best of the bunch if he didn’t get hurt. No doubt in my mind. He’s physical. If you look at that whole Washington secondary, that would be a Pro Bowl secondary out there. They were all very good, but clearly, he was the best of the bunch. He was a guy who could play zone, he could play man, and I don’t want to throw buzz words out there, but the transition ability that you have to have, the ability to tie your hands to your feet, your mobility, he had all those things.
"When you watch these guys play after play after play, you kind of develop a sense of if a guy can play or not. There are guys I look at for maybe a half, and I’m done. For six months a year, I look at all NFL football play, and I know what those attributes are to play those positions, and you can tell pretty quick on the eyeball test with Jones."
A highlight reel:
Jones has been on the NFI list for the entirety of the 2017 season, where he technically remained when he started practicing on December 13th. That began a 21-day window in which he could practice with the team before the Eagles had to make a decision on whether to join the 53-man roster, or be placed on injured reserve.
Jones' rookie contract, like all drafted rookie contracts, is a four-year deal. Under normal circumstances, he would be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of those four seasons. However, under non-football injury rules, if Jones does not participate in at least six games during the 2017 season, a benchmark that is now impossible, that would not count as an "Accrued Season," thus making him a restricted free agent at the end of his contract, and far easier to keep under contract for an additional year.
In other words, the Eagles will have Jones under their control at a reasonable financial cost through the 2021 season, while also having the benefit of Jones joining the roster at the end of this season.
The Eagles already made room on the 53-man roster on Friday, when they placed linebacker Joe Walker on injured reserve. There are no additional front office moves necessary to add Jones to the active roster.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski.
Like Jimmy on Facebook.
Like the new PhillyVoice Sports page on Facebook.