Today is the day. The Eagles will announce their final 53-man roster Saturday afternoon and start preparing for their week 1 matchup with the Washington Football Team.
They’ve already made several cuts, but they’ll need to make at least seven more before the deadline. While fans and pundits continue to speculate which players will get waived or cut, two names have circulated as possible trade candidates — Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas.
With the recent extension given to cornerback Craig James, the writing is on the wall for Douglas and Jones. Douglas has had the better camp, mostly due to the fact that he’s actually been out there the entire time, whereas Jones has battled injuries throughout.
Neither player seems to be in the long-term plans anymore. Douglas never really felt like a long-term solution at CB, with his lacking speed and overall subpar coverage ability. Jones, on the other hand, was drafted to eventually become a solidified starter on the outside. He was touted as perhaps the best corner coming out of the 2017 NFL Draft; if it wasn’t for an injury he sustained during his pro day, he would’ve more than likely been a top-15 pick.
But, Jones has struggled immensely throughout his NFL career, both on the injury front and with his play on the field. He was benched halfway through the 2019 season, and although he made some great plays down the stretch for Jim Schwartz’s defense, he didn’t see any playing time in the wildcard game against Seattle.
It appears the team is ready to move forward with Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox as the two outside corners, leaving Douglas and Jones on the outside looking in. Keeping at least one of these players would be wise, considering how frequently injuries seem to plague this franchise.
One injury to either Maddox or Slay, and they’ll be left with James or maybe Cre’Von Leblanc as the only suitable backups. While I’m not confident in either Jones or Douglas being starters, they’re more than capable of filling in for a game or two if injuries do occur.
As far as trade value goes, I don’t envision either Jones or Douglas bringing much to the table, other than the fact that they’re young and still relatively cheap. Jones probably has more value, given the fact he was such a solid prospect coming out of college — there’s definitely a defensive coordinator out there who would love to try and unlock that potential. Douglas is what he is at this point, and his lack of speed really lowers what kind of potential he presents.
If Jones could bring something like a fifth or sixth round pick back in return, that would probably be as good as the Eagles are going to get for either of these guys on the trade market. I would keep Douglas around just for depth purposes, he knows the defense and has played better throughout his career than Jones — granted, that’s not saying much.
It’s disappointing that neither of these guys materialized into mainstays at the CB position, but the team can’t wait forever. Expect at least one of these young corners to get traded or cut by day’s end.