The Miami Dolphins head into the 2013 season with a bit more optimism than they had last year. With Ryan Tannehill having his rookie year behind him and nothing but upside from here on out — or so the organization believes — the franchise seems to be headed in the right direction.
Adding a big name free agent like Mike Wallace this offseason didn’t hurt either, as Tannehill finally has a legitimate number one option to throw the ball to.
But, what the Dolphins also wanted to do at some point this year before the start of the season was to lock up safety Reshad Jones for a few more years. Miami did so on Monday by extending Jones on a four-year, $30 million deal with $15 million guaranteed.
Now, for those wondering why so much money was given up to a guy they maybe hadn’t heard of before, a closer look is needed. Also, watch a couple of Dolphins games and you’ll figure it out.
Jones, only 25 years old, has improved each season he’s been on the field for Miami. In 2012, he was the second-highest rated safety by Pro Football Focus coming in behind Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd.
Not only was his 2012 season impressive, but PFF’s rating last year was the fifth highest rating for a safety since 2008 when the company began grading players. Jones finished with a combined 94 tackles, nine passes defensed, four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Miami has put themselves one step further towards a future championship with keeping Jones around for a while. Granted, they’ll need a few more pieces before that can be the conversation, but Jones’ talent is on the rise and it would have been a mistake for them to put off contract talks and ultimately risk losing him.