3:03pm: According to Beasley, Jones is seeking an annual salary in the neighborhood of $10MM on a new contract, which would put him in line with the league’s highest-paid safeties.
11:02am: Dolphins safety Reshad Jones has told multiple people that he’s not happy with his contract, and is not present for the team’s voluntary minicamp, writes Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, a source close to Jones says the safety plans to sit out the Dolphins’ offseason program unless he gets a new contract extension.
Jones, who earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2015, is on the books for base salaries of $7.225MM in 2016 and $7.06MM in 2017, with accompanying cap hits of $8.203MM and $8.038MM, respectively. His current four-year, $28MM+ contract makes him the highest-paid strong safety in the NFL, though he doesn’t rank among the top five highest-paid safeties overall.
A fifth-round pick in 2010, Jones has been a starter for the Dolphins for most of his career, and played all 16 games in 2015, setting new career-highs in tackles (135), passes defended (10), and interceptions (five), returning two of those picks for touchdowns. Pro Football Focus ranked Jones as the 13th-best safety in the NFL, out of 89 qualified players. Of those 89 safeties, only two received higher grades as run defenders than Jones did.
Although Jones is sitting out for now, it remains to be seen whether he’d be willing to hold out during training camp – and possibly into the regular season – in order to get a new deal. Since the 28-year-old still has two years remaining on his current contract, the Dolphins may be reluctant to make any major changes to that pact quite yet, even though they want to extend him eventually, as Salguero writes.
If the Dolphins don’t make any concessions, and Jones does opt for a holdout, it could result in a stand-off similar to the one between the Seahawks and Kam Chancellor last year. Chancellor, whose contract is very similar to Jones’, held out for a new deal in 2015, but his team refused to budge, and the Pro Bowler ultimately reported to Seattle for the third week of the regular season.
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