Reshad Jones

Reshad Jones In Dolphins’ 2019 Plans

Many key Dolphins from the recent past are no longer in Miami. Cameron Wake, Ryan Tannehill and Ja’Wuan James were among the many veterans the Dolphins jettisoned. The rebuilding team is also believed to be shopping Kenny Stills and Kiko Alonso, and Reshad Jones has been a potential departure candidate throughout the offseason.

But the high-priced safety said recently he will be a Dolphin this season. The Dolphins informed Jones, per Jones (via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson), he will not be traded. Jones’ willingness to accept any role, including potentially reduced playing time, has impressed the team, according to Jackson.

The 10th-year safety has been dangled in trade talks, Jackson reported over the weekend. But the Dolphins were not interested in the offers they received, Jackson adds, pointing them toward keeping their longest-tenured defender for another year. Jones’ contract, which calls for a $17.1MM cap number this season (by far the most among safeties in 2019), will be prohibitive in any trade talks. It should not be surprising the Dolphins are abandoning the idea of dealing the 31-year-old safety at this point. Were they to move on in 2020, $7.5MM in additional cap space would be created.

The Dolphins released T.J. McDonald on Sunday night, clearing a path for more Jones playing time. He has two Pro Bowls and 21 career interceptions, including three last season, on his resume. Jones (109 career starts) is one start away from the most by a safety in Dolphins history, trailing only Tim Foley.

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Dolphins Shopping LB Kiko Alonso, S Reshad Jones

In the midst of a rebuild, the Dolphins are shopping some of their older players. Barry Jackson and Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald report that Miami has dangled several of their veterans in trade talks.

However, one of the players who hasn’t been shopped is offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Earlier today, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reported (via Twitter) that the Dolphins were shopping the 25-year-old, but Jackson and Beasley write that the organization has “assured the Tunsil camp that there is no truth to that.”

Jackson and Beasley note that the front office has received calls about Tunsil, but the team hasn’t acted on any of the inquiries. Further, the reporters write that they personally received a call from a credible source who said “Tunsil’s name had come up in trade discussions,” but it was uncertain whether the Dolphins initiated the calls.

It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for the Dolphins to move on from Tunsil. The former first-rounder has established himself as an up-and-coming lineman, and he’s under team control for another two seasons. Plus, the team is looking to build their offensive line as they prepare for the future with either Josh Rosen or a 2020 rookie under center. Moving on from one of their assets would contradict that logic.

While Tunsil might not be on the block, the Dolphins have been shopping safety Reshad Jones and linebacker Kiko Alonso. Jackson and Beasley write that rival organizations are expecting Alonso and wideout Kenny Stills to be cut, limiting Miami’s trade flexibility. The Dolphins would also consider offers for linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who could be pushed for playing time by Sam Eguavoen.

The organization kicked off their rebuild this past offseason by moving on from a number of veteran players, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill and linebacker Cameron Wake. The team currently owns 13 draft picks in the 2020 draft.

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AFC East Notes: Brady, Bills, Dolphins

More information continues to trickle out about Tom Brady‘s contract. The Patriots initially offered Brady another batch of incentives to start this process, Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston reports (video link). Given that Brady did not capitalize on any of his 2018 incentives, it was understandable his camp balked at such a proposal. The 20th-year quarterback did not mind a year-to-year setup, and Curran adds the clause preventing the Pats from franchising him next year came about because Brady wanted autonomy for the first time. He has never played into a contract year; he will now.

Through the void years tactic, the Patriots will be tagged with just north of $13MM in dead money if Brady were to leave after 2019, Curran adds (on Twitter). In structuring the deal this way, the Patriots gained $5.5MM in cap space and the opportunity to evaluate Brady’s age-42 season without making a true commitment beyond 2019.

With news surrounding the highest-profile player in the history of the AFC East overshadowing the others, let’s look at what else is coming out of this division on Tuesday evening:

  • The Bills are still deciding between playing second-round pick Cody Ford at tackle or guard, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The bulk of Buffalo’s offensive line depth resides on the interior, with Russell Bodine, Jon Feliciano and Wyatt Teller (seven starts as a 2018 rookie) on the roster. Ford moving inside could complicate their statuses, but Mitch Morse dealing with another concussion may make the Bills opt for extra insurance on their interior. Feliciano and Teller are likely to be on the 53-man roster, per Buscaglia. Ford started a handful of games at guard in 2016 and ’17, before moving to right tackle last season.
  • T.J. Yeldon joins some of the Bills’ veteran reserve linemen on the roster bubble. The four-year Jaguar is battling special-teamer Senorise Perry for the final running back job, Buscaglia writes, adding that Yeldon appears to be losing this competition. The Bills signed Yeldon to a two-year, $3.2MM deal with $500K guaranteed. The latter figure does not exactly ensure a roster spot. But Yeldon could benefit if the Bills try to trade LeSean McCoy, which has been rumored this summer.
  • Reshad Jones has been spotted in a walking boot and a cast on his right foot, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. He has missed multiple Dolphins practices. The well-paid safety has been a trade candidate for a bit now, and moving a $17.1MM cap figure off the roster would be in line with the rebuilding team’s offseason decisions. Additionally, Jones has been working with Miami’s second-string defense, with Jackson adding that Bobby McCain and T.J. McDonald have seen the bulk of the starter reps in camp. The Dolphins may have a difficult time unloading Jones’ $12MM-AAV contract.
  • A UDFA wideout has caught Xavien Howard‘s attention. The Dolphins’ No. 1 corner tabbed rookie Preston Williams as a potential “No. 1 receiver one day,” per Jackson. A 6-foot-5 receiver out of Colorado State, Williams made an impression in minicamp and has continued to do so in pads. Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker are roster locks, Jackson adds, with Williams likely competing with Allen Hurns and Brice Butler for one of the final two slots in a likely six-man receiving corps.

Dolphins’ Reshad Jones Shows For Minicamp

Dolphins safety Reshad Jones is in limbo, but that didn’t stop him from showing up for work on Tuesday. The veteran reported for the start of the team’s mandatory minicamp, as Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. 

I’m really looking forward to working with him,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “He was excited to get into meetings and practice.”

Flores added that Jones showed up “in really good shape.” Taken at face value, that may be a sign that Jones continues to be in the team’s plans. However, a skeptic might see that as an attempt to boost the safety’s trade value. The Dolphins reportedly would prefer to move on from Jones instead of paying out his sizable contract.

Jones skipped the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program for unknown reasons, but he has clashed with the team many times in the past. Continuing his absence through this week would have cost him nearly $90K in fines, so showing up was the sensible move.

For now, Jones stands as the team’s highest-paid player with $13MM in base salary ($11MM guaranteed) owed to him for 2019. The Dolphins, who are not in position to win in 2019, would probably prefer to swap him for future draft capital.

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Dolphins Want To Trade Reshad Jones

Dolphins GM Chris Grier said back in April that he expected safety Reshad Jones to be a part of the club in 2019, but there have been rumblings that Miami intends to shop Jones, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that the Fins would indeed prefer to trade the two-time Pro Bowler if they get an offer to their liking.

Jones has been absent from OTAs thus far, though head coach Brian Flores expects him to show up for this week’s mandatory minicamp. Jones, 31, is not a part of the Dolphins’ long-term future and carries significant yearly cap hits over the rest of his contract — which runs through 2021 — so it makes sense that Miami would want to make a trade.

Releasing Jones is not feasible because of the dead money that the team would incur, but if the Dolphins are able to deal him, they would carry just $4MM in dead money in 2019 while creating $13MM of cap space. Of course, another club would need to be willing to assume Jones’ contract, and given his age and the fact that he is coming off shoulder surgery, it is unclear if Miami will be able to drum up much interest.

As Jackson notes, the team won’t just give Jones away. If Miami can get a decent draft pick in return, it may be willing to pay part of his salary. If not, then the Fins will just hang onto him and cut him next spring, when the dead cap hit would be more palatable.

Because they don’t want to hurt his trade value, the Dolphins are not making a big deal about Jones’ absence from OTAs or the fact that he refused to go back in the team’s game against the Jets last November after being told earlier in the week that he would be used in a rotation. But the team internally believes those decisions run counter to Flores’ team-first mentality, which further underscores the desire to trade Jones.

If a deal is consummated, the club could shift 2018 first-rounder Minkah Fitzpatrick to safety, or if it feels Fitzpatrick is more valuable as a slot corner, then CB Bobby McCain would likely be asked to fill the void.

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AFC East Notes: Kraft, Jets, Dolphins

The Robert Kraft case took another turn a few days ago, when a judge ruled that video of the Patriots’ owner inside the spa cannot be used in court because it was obtained illegally, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This doesn’t mean Kraft is out of the woods yet, even though it does improve his legal standing. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets, Kraft can still be disciplined by the league under the personal conduct policy, even if he isn’t convicted of a crime. That being said, Volin wonders whether the league and fellow owners really want to punish Kraft.

To that end, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com took a look at where things will go from here, and previewed what is ahead. While noting it’s a “delicate issue,” Florio seems to think the Patriots boss has a decent chance of getting off with no punishment from Roger Goodell. Even if the league finds there is sufficient evidence that Kraft participated in solicitation, Florio writes that it “would be difficult to match the behavior to one of the 13 specific examples of prohibited conduct contained in the Personal Conduct Policy.” There will be backlash no matter what side of the fence Goodell comes down on, and it’ll be very interesting to see how he proceeds. We should have another update soon.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Jets have fired Mike Maccagnan and the search for his replacement is underway, with new head coach Adam Gase serving as the interim GM. Gase is widely believed to have won a power struggle, and it seems like he’s more or less in charge in New York. Acting owner and CEO Christopher Johnson will have final say, but the new GM will almost certainly be handpicked by Gase. We’ve already heard a few names the Jets are interested in, and now we have another. 49ers VP of Player Personnel Adam Peters is a name to keep an eye on in the Jets‘ GM search, Manish Mehta of the Daily News tweets. Peters was an exec with the Broncos at the same time Gase was there as the OC, so there’s some familiarity there.
  • The Patriots added to their crowded receiving room last week by signing Dontrelle Inman, and now we have the details on his pact. It’s a one-year deal with a “$200K signing bonus, $100k of his base salary guaranteed, $300k in roster bonuses, and a $100k reporting bonus, in addition to incentives up to $1m,” according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That’s a significant amount of guarantees, and Reiss writes that it “reflects how he had other suitors” and that “this isn’t a minimum-level deal.” It sounds like the Pats could be counting on Inman to play a significant role in 2019.
  • Safety Reshad Jones continued to stay away from the Dolphins during the voluntary portion of their offseason program, but the team expects to have him for mandatory minicamp next month, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Jones had a falling out with the team last season, and it’s been rumored Miami plans on shopping him. Jones is due more than $13MM in guaranteed salary, so he isn’t going to be released. Jones, a Pro Bowler as recently as 2017, is also coming off shoulder surgery.

Latest On Reshad Jones, Dolphins

The combination of the Dolphins having purged several high salaries from their 2019 payroll and Reshad Jones not reporting for the start of Brian Flores‘ offseason program does not provide much optimism the Pro Bowl safety will be in Miami this coming season.

But as of now, Jones remains a Dolphin. And GM Chris Grier said (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, on Twitter) he expects the veteran safety to be a part of the 2019 team. Additionally, Grier said Jones has not asked the Dolphins for a trade, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com tweets.

Jones has missed the start of the Dolphins’ voluntary minicamp. This isn’t the first bump in the road for Jones and the ‘Fins. In 2016, he skipped a day of mandatory minicamp as he pushed for a new contract. In 2017, he secured a new deal, but he clashed with team brass once again in 2018 when he quit after 10 snaps against the Jets.

The 2019 season will be Jones’ age-31 campaign. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and ’17, but the Dolphins have parted ways with ex-Pro Bowlers this offseason. They traded Robert Quinn and allowed Cameron Wake and Frank Gore to defect as free agents. The large salaries of Ryan Tannehill and Andre Branch are also gone.

Jones is set to make a team-high $13MM in 2019 and carry a $17.1MM cap number. Jones’ four-year, $48MM contract — which would tag the Dolphins with $25MM-plus in dead money were they to release him — runs through 2021. No other Dolphin carries a cap charge of more than $10MM this year, and considering how the franchise has operated thus far this offseason, the prospect of Jones playing elsewhere this coming season obviously cannot be ruled out.

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Dolphins Notes: Jones, Harris, Draft

There’s a breakup waiting to happen between the Dolphins and Reshad Jones, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. The safety didn’t show up to voluntary camp on Tuesday, which suggests that the safety isn’t quite invested in the team. That could be because the Dolphins aren’t quite invested in him – the Dolphins may be planning to shop Jones between now and the start of the season.

This isn’t the first bump in the road for Jones and the ‘Fins. In 2016, he skipped a day of mandatory minicamp as he pushed for a new contract. In 2017, he secured a new deal, but he clashed with team brass once again in 2018 when he quit after ten snaps against the Jets.

While we keep an eye on Jones, here’s more from Miami:

  • Defensive end Charles Harris, the club’s first-round pick in 2017, has occasionally “lost himself” and has gotten off track at times, a source tells Salguero. Harris apparently had trouble adjusting to a professional player’s lifestyle as a rookie and, last year, he tried to mimic “the moves and mannerisms” of Robert Quinn. This year, Harris is expected to produce, but the Dolphins aren’t counting on him, which is why they’ll look to add an edge rusher or two in the draft.
  • The Dolphins would like to add a natural 3-4 nose tackle in the draft, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears. For now, the Dolphins have 6’3″, 215-pound defensive tackle Davon Godchaux working at nose tackle when Miami plays a 3-4 set.

Dolphins Will Try To Trade Reshad Jones?

The Dolphins have already parted ways with a number of veterans as they head into a rebuilding season in 2019, and Miami could next choose to move on from safety Reshad Jones. As Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes, the Dolphins are likely to place Jones on the trade block in advance of the regular season.

Thanks to the extension he signed in 2017, Jones isn’t a realistic candidate for release right now. He’s due more than $13MM in guaranteed base salary for the upcoming campaign, and given that three years of signing bonus proration would immediately accelerate onto the Dolphins’ salary cap if Jones is cut, he’s not going to be released. If Miami parts ways with Jones before June 1, it would take on $25.15MM in dead money, nearly $8MM more than it will cost to keep Jones on the club’s roster.

Trading Jones remains a possibility, however. In the event of a trade, guaranteed base salaries become the responsibility of the acquiring team. If the Dolphins are able to deal Jones before June 1, they’d incur $12.135MM in dead money but open up more than $5MM worth of new space. After June 1? Miami would see just $4.045MM in dead money and create ~$13MM in cap space (with roughly $8MM of dead money being moved into 2020).

Of course, it’s unclear whether any club would have interest in acquiring Jones, especially given his hefty 2019 salary. Pro Football Focus ranked Jones as the No. 33 safety among 93 qualifiers in 2019, but he’s also coming off surgery for a partially torn labrum. As such, Salguero speculates the Dolphins will likely be able to reap only a late-round pick in 2020 in exchange for Jones.

Trading Jones would not only clear cap space for the Dolphins, but allow the team to play 2018 first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick at safety, which is where they reportedly prefer to position the versatile defensive back. If Jones is gone, Fitzpatrick would line up alongside T.J. McDonald in Miami’s secondary.

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Dolphins’ Reshad Jones Has Surgery

Dolphins safety Reshad Jones had surgery on his partially torn right labrum, as Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com tweets. Jones played most of 2018 with the injury and the operation, hopefully, will enable him to play without pain or setbacks in 2019. 

Jones’ timetable for recovery is currently unknown, however, so its possible that his rehab will interfere with offseason preparation and possibly the beginning of the season. The 30-year-old avoided missing significant time due to the shoulder in 2018, but he did see his tackles per game average drop – he had 6.7 stops per contest from 2015-2017, but had only 5.1 tackles per game last year.

Last year proved to be bumpy between Jones and the Dolphins for non-injury reasons. In November, he yanked himself out of a game after just ten plays. Jones was angry at then-defensive coordinator Matt Burke and head coach Adam Gase for having him split time at safety, but the new regime led by Brian Flores may handle him differently.

Jones finished out 2018 with 72 tackles and three interceptions across 14 games. He graded out as the 33rd best safety in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

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