RENTON — Sidney Jones went to a Jacksonville, Florida, steakhouse late last month to celebrate the end of training camp with the Jaguars. He finished off appetizers and a couple of drinks, and his steak had just arrived when his phone rang.
On the other end of the line was the Jaguars general manager informing Jones that he had been traded to the Seahawks.
Stunned by the trade, Jones asked for a to-go box for his steak and quickly left the restaurant.
“I lost my appetite,” he said.
In his first meeting with the media Thursday at the Seahawks’ facility, Jones said it didn’t take him long to embrace a fresh start in Seattle — a place where he had blossomed into an All-American cornerback for the UW Huskies in 2016.
“Amazing,” he said. “Never thought I would have this feeling.”
Jones, 25, is entering his fifth NFL season with his third team. The Eagles drafted him in the second round in 2017, just a few weeks after he suffered a devastating Achilles injury during the final drill of his Pro Day workout at UW.
Injuries have hampered him in the NFL. He was cut by the Eagles a year ago and landed in Jacksonville; he started six games at right corner for the Jaguars last season.
“Not how I wanted to start off (his NFL career), obviously,” Jones said. “I had high expectations for myself. I feel like I’m a great player. But if you have bumps in the road and adversity hits, then you have to find a way to combat that and jump over that hoop. It’s been a slow start, but I feel like I made strides last year and I hope to continue that.”
While at UW, Jones said he closely studied the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom secondary, and he has tried to model his game after Richard Sherman. Some veteran cornerbacks who come to Seattle have struggled to adapt to Pete Carroll’s specific techniques for the position — the step-kick, in particular — but Jones said that hasn’t been an issue for him.
“All that is very familiar,” Jones said.
That, he said, has helped him pick up Seattle’s defense in his first 10 days with the team, and he expects to be on the field for the season opener Sunday in Indianapolis.
Jones has been practicing at right corner, and he’s listed as the backup to Tre Flowers this week.
“I’m here to compete. I’m here to do my job. Here to win,” Jones said.