Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones was suspended four games for violation of the leagues PED policy. Jones has just last season signed a lucrative contract extension with the Dolphins that guaranteed him $15 million. With the suspension he will lose a portion of that.
Jones will now lose 4/17ths of his $2.61 million salary in 2014, a loss of $614,118. He will also forfeit $235,294 of his signing bonus allocation for the year. That brings his total loss to $849,412. The suspension will likely void his future $6.76 million guarantee on his 2015 salary, meaning Jones would cost the Dolphins slightly less than $3 million in dead charges to release in 2015. While that release would be unlikely it does bring more motivation to play extremely well when he returns from suspension.
A future suspension would be incredibly costly for Jones. If he was to test positive again, he would now be up for an 8 game suspension and off a much higher base salary of $6.76 million. It was somewhat lucky for him that the Dolphins had structured his contract to contain lower cash payouts and cap charges over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, despite the presence of enormous cap space. Had the Dolphins taken a different approach he might be looking at the loss of more than $1.2 million this season.
For salary cap purposes, the Dolphins will receive $614,118 in cap relief when the regular season begins. The signing bonus forfeiture will be evenly allocated over the term of the contract, reducing his cap charge by $47,059 in each remaining year of his contract. The team should also receive a $94,118 cap credit in 2015 to reflect the forfeiture allocated to the 2013 and 2014 cap seasons.