I was able to get some details on Reshad Jones’ new contract with the Miami Dolphins, which will plant the young Safety near the top of the market. Per a league source the 4 year extension totals $28.012 million in new money, which works out to an annual value of $7,030,000 per year. By that metric Jones will rank just above S Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks. Clearly the Chancellor contract was used as the model framework for this contract, though the Dolphins ended up getting a better deal than the Seahawks got from Chancellor.
Jones will receive a $5 million dollar signing bonus, which will be prorated over the life of the contract and a base salary of $630,000 in 2013. Jones was scheduled to earn $1.323 million in the final year of his rookie contract, so he will now earn an additional $4.307 million in cash compensation for the year. Jones’ base salaries from 2013 thru 2015 should be fully guaranteed leading to a total guarantee of $15 million, which places him in the upper echelon of Safeties in terms of guarantees per year. Jones’ guarantee works out to $3.75 million per year, slightly lower than Eric Weddle’s $3.8 million per year and slightly higher than DaShon Goldson’s $3.6 million a year.
The tradeoff for Jones seems to be in the cash flow structure and total value of the contract which was a win for the Dolphins if we assume Chancellor is the fair market comparison. I think most people would argue that Jones is a better player than Chancellor primarily due to his work in the passing game, which is the more important aspect in today’s NFL. The total value of the extensions for the two players is nearly identical and the cash flows for Chancellor are superior as Jones’ contract is backloaded. Chancellor will make $4.3 million more in new money in the first year of the extension and $2.1 million more over the first two extension years. Jones will not surpass Chancellor until 2016. So if both players were to falter there is an excellent chance Chancellor will earn more money than Jones despite the total values being the same. The following chart illustrates the cash flows over the life of the contract.
The areas where Chancellor’s deal falls short are in stated guarantees and backend incentives. Chancellor’s guarantees hinge on being on the roster a few days following the Super Bowl the next two seasons, which is likely to be earned but by no means guaranteed. He also had slightly over $300,000 in per game incentives in 2017. Jones has no such incentives and will have just $50,000 tied up in workout bonuses.
All in all I think this is another solid deal for Miami. Jones clearly would have been a candidate for the Franchise tag after this season which would have cost Miami about $7 million. If you assume the next year he would be tagged again you would be looking at $8.4 million. So from the Dolphin perspective he could have maxed his value out over the next three seasons at $16.7 million. Miami will only pay $15 million and will have the cap structure that they desire. Jones’ first year new money takehome is $6.917 million, which is pretty close to what it would have cost Miami to tag him next year.
If any other information is made known on the contract (I believe NFLDraftBites stated that there is no Franchise tag provision) I’ll update the contract and/or post on him accordingly.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.