Miami Dolphins strong safety Reshad Jones is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and he is looking for a payday in line with how he has developed and in line with where he is headed as a player.
2012 was an excellent season for Jones. The fifth-rounder (2010 NFL draft) had 88 tackles coming into 2012, but he made 94 tackles this past season. The Dolphins struggle mightily to create turnovers, but Jones actually is getting good at that as he had four interceptions (just two coming into 2012) and a pair of forced fumbles last season.
Jones has developed into a legit cover man who reads and reacts well to pass plays. He does not have blazing speed, but he gets himself in positions to make plays all over the field.
I liked what I saw from Jones last season as far as his play in run support. This is a guy who can diagnose a run play quickly and he attacks the ball carrier with aggression and physicality. Coach Joe Philbin wants “football players” and I am sure we know what he is referring to — Jones showed he is that guy in 2012.
You would think the Dolphins would be motivated to re-up on a long-term deal with the 25-year-old who has his arrow pointed upwards, but it does look like he will need to have one-more big season to earn a big payday.
An interesting scenario is that Jones follows up his good 2012 with a very good 2013, but the ‘Phins still want to see a bit more and instead of a long-term deal, they apply the franchise tag. The cost of a safety in 2013 that has a franchise tag on him is a little over $6 million.
It appears like Jones needs another good season to show that he is worthy of a long-term deal. Personally, I think he is going to accomplish that. He was very good in 2012, and I feel that defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle (who has a great history of developing good players in his secondary) can continue to develop Jones.
If he continues to improve at creating turnovers, then Dolfans everywhere will love him big-time (I sure will … I am desperate to have a player in the ‘Phins secondary to cheer for).