Reshad Jones

Reshad Jones Considering Retirement

Reshad Jones‘ first offseason as a free agent came at a bad time for unattached players with injury issues. The longtime Dolphins safety needs to undergo a neck surgery, but the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted this process.

As a result, the 32-year-old defender is considering ending his career after 10 seasons. The Dolphins released Jones in March. The pandemic has prevented free agents from visiting teams.

I definitely can play again; I just don’t know if I will,” Jones said, via Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post. “I had a couple teams call my agent, but I can’t pass a physical right now. So a lot of teams when they call it’s just no point. They find out I have to have surgery.

So right now, a lot of teams don’t want to talk because I can’t get on the field or pass the physical. But it’s not career-ending. I don’t think it is. The doctor said I can get a surgery and play again. But in Year 10, with all I have accomplished and financially I am set, I have a couple things I have to weigh out.”

Jones said the pandemic, with hospitals being flooded with coronavirus patients, has put his surgery on hold. With barely six weeks remaining until Week 1 is slated to begin, Jones being in this spot may shelve him for the 2020 season anyway. He will turn 33 in February. If he is to come off a neck surgery-induced absence this year, after he missed time because of a chest injury in 2019, returning to the field in 2021 would be difficult.

A former fifth-round pick, Jones once resided as one of the NFL’s best safeties. He scored six defensive touchdowns and made two Pro Bowls. His 113 starts lead all safeties in the Dolphins’ 54-season history.

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Dolphins To Release S Reshad Jones

The Dolphins are releasing safety Reshad Jones, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (Twitter link). The move will become official when the new league year opens on March 18.

Miami’s decision is not exactly surprising. Jones, 32, made the Pro Bowl in 2017, but he has dealt with a number of injuries over the past few seasons, and he suited up for just four games in 2019. The Dolphins plan to deploy Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe at the safety positions in 2020, and the three-year, $18MM extension that Rowe signed with the team in December made a Jones return a questionable proposition at best.

While a reworked contract for Jones was reportedly under consideration, and though the 2010 fifth-rounder expressed back in September that he would like to remain with Miami for the long haul, it always seemed more likely that the Dolphins would cut bait. The team was in trade talks with Pittsburgh at the start of the 2019 campaign, but after an injury-marred season, no one was going to trade for Jones and his $11.5MM salary this offseason.

Still, he should garner plenty of interest on the open market. The Cowboys have been in need of a high-caliber safety for a few years now, and the Browns and Raiders could also be fits. Jones is unlikely to make anywhere close to the $11.5MM he would have earned with Miami, though he may be able to land a fairly lucrative multi-year pact. The Dolphins, meanwhile, will incur a big dead money charge by releasing Jones but will still clear about $5.3MM from their books, leaving the team with close to $100MM of cap space (if a new CBA is agreed to, the team could designate Jones as a post-June 1 cut and spread the dead cap hit over the next two seasons).

Jones was the longest-tenured Dolphin, and he leaves the team with 776 total tackles, 10.5 sacks, 55 passes defensed, 21 interceptions, and six total touchdowns in 128 games (113 starts).

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Dolphins Notes: Wilson, Jones, Kilgore

Albert Wilson started his Dolphins career off with a bang in 2018, but a serious hip injury quickly derailed his momentum. He wasn’t the same player this past year, and ended up racking up only 351 yards and one touchdown in 13 games. Wilson has one more year left on his deal at $9.5MM, but it’s entirely non-guaranteed. The blazing fast slot receiver has shown a lot of flashes, but that’s a hefty price tag for any slot receiver. To that end, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that Miami is “likely to discuss a restructuring in the weeks ahead.”

It sounds like Wilson is going to have to accept a pay-cut if he wants to stay in Miami for 2020. Wilson did start to make a case for himself down the stretch, gaining at least 59 yards in each of their last three games. Unfortunately, he hadn’t topped 33 yards in any game before that. Wilson signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, and slowly started to breakout in Kansas City. He’s never produced huge numbers, but the Dolphins placed a huge bet on his potential.

Here’s more from Miami:

  • Speaking of players who might have to take pay-cuts, Jackson writes that Reshad Jones “returning under his current contract is inconceivable.” Jones is due $11.5MM in 2020, but only $2MM of that is guaranteed. Jackson writes that as of right now their plan is to start Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe at safety, but that Jones returning on a “restructured deal isn’t entirely out of the question.” Jones made the Pro Bowl in 2017, but his relationship with the franchise quickly deteriorated and for a while it looked like a divorce was inevitable. He had a falling out with Adam Gase but was apparently able to patch things over with new head coach Brian Flores, and Jones said back in September that he wanted to stay with the Dolphins for the long haul.
  • Another Dolphins starter on the chopping block is center Daniel Kilgore. Kilgore is due a non-guaranteed $3.1MM, and Miami can cut him right before the start of the season with no cap penalty. Jackson expects the team to look for an upgrade at center this offseason, and he points out that GM Chris Grier was recently non-committal about his status. Jackson indicates that the ‘Phins will be completely revamping their O-line this offseason, which isn’t surprising considering the beatings that Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen were taking last year.
  • In case you missed it, the Dolphins are prepared to move up in the draft.

Dolphins Place Jones, McCain On IR

The two longest-tenured Dolphin defenders will finish their seasons on injured reserve. Miami placed safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on IR, where they will join cornerback Xavien Howard.

This strips the Dolphins’ secondary of two key veterans — in a year that’s seen numerous Miami vets depart or head to IR — and creates questions about Jones’ future with the franchise. Jones is by far the Dolphins’ longest-tenured player, at 10 years, but he was a trade candidate throughout this offseason.

A chest injury cost Jones four games this season, but he returned for the Dolphins’ Week 11 matchup against the Bills. Against the Browns, the Dolphins will deploy a skeleton crew featuring Eric Rowe and a host of young players. McCain suffered a shoulder injury against Buffalo.

The Dolphins gave Jones a $12MM-per-year extension in March 2017; the two-time Pro Bowler’s play since, however, has not quite lived up to that price. Jones will turn 32 in February and stands to count $15.6MM toward Miami’s 2020 cap. The Dolphins could save nearly $8MM by releasing Jones next year, though that move would cost them almost as much in dead-money charges.

Miami offered Jones to Pittsburgh before sending Minkah Fitzpatrick there this year, but the former’s high salary impeded trade talks this offseason. For a Dolphins team that’s made no secret of a full-scale rebuild, as the exits of most of the franchise’s previous core have shown, it will likely not have an issue jettisoning Jones next year.

McCain has started eight games for Miami this season and 40 since joining the team as a 2015 fifth-round pick. He’s attached to a four-year, $27MM extension the Dolphins gave him in 2018. With only $5.5MM in 2020 salary due, the 26-year-old defender has a better chance of returning next season.

The Dolphins added safety help by signing ex-49ers starter Adrian Colbert off the Seahawks’ practice squad. They also placed 2019 Seahawks wide receiver draftee Gary Jennings on IR.

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Dolphins Offered Reshad Jones To Steelers Before Minkah Fitzpatrick Trade

The Dolphins were shopping veteran safety Reshad Jones this summer, and the Steelers, who had made it clear to rival teams that they were in the market for secondary help, were an obvious match. As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, Miami did indeed attempt to deal Jones to Pittsburgh at the start of the season.

However, the Steelers said they preferred Minkah Fitzpatrick, though the Dolphins initially suggested Fitzpatrick was not going to be moved. Of course, Miami quickly changed its stance in that regard and said it would deal Fitzpatrick if a first-rounder was included in the trade.

La Canfora says several teams were willing to meet the Dolphins’ asking price, but Miami chose Pittsburgh’s offer because it believed the Steelers’ 2020 first-rounder would be higher than those of the other suitors. Of course, that may not turn out to be the case, as Fitzpatrick has provided a jolt to the Steelers’ defense and has helped Pittsburgh (4-4) climb back into the AFC playoff picture.

Fitzpatrick was publicly unhappy with the way he was being deployed in Miami, but he and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin established from the beginning that the Alabama product would be used in a centerfielder role that would highlight his playmaking abilities. And Fitzpatrick has certainly made plays, recording four interceptions in his six games in the Steel City, including a critical pick-six in Pittsburgh’s win over the Colts last week.

Jones, meanwhile, is under contract with the Dolphins through 2022, and while he indicated he is open to staying with Miami through its rebuild, the Fins may choose to cut bait this offseason to save about $5.5MM against the cap, even though they would incur a big dead money charge by doing so.

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Dolphins’ Reshad Jones Wants To Stay

The Dolphins and Reshad Jones have had a rocky relationship in the past, but they seem to be on good terms now. The safety says he wants to stay put, even as other teammates are looking to get out of town. 

I love my home,” Jones said (via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald). “I’ve been here 10 years. It’s home for me. I love the guys in this locker room, love South Florida, want to see the Dolphins win football games. And I’m willing to do whatever it takes for us to win.”

In November, Jones pulled himself out of a game after just ten plays. He also clashed with Matt Burke and head coach Adam Gase for having him split time at safety, but the veteran appears to be happier under the new regime, led by Brian Flores.

Jones may also want to stay for fiscal reasons. The Dolphins are slated to pay him a $15.5MM salary if he’s on the team next year, but they can save $7.5MM against the cap by releasing him in the offseason.

Jones, who is set to return from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the last two games, says he has yet to have a sit down conversation with team brass about his desire to stay in Miami.

I think they pretty much know,” he said. “If I wanted out, I had a chance to make that known. I’m here for the long haul, here to help this team win games.”

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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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