Best and Worst NFL Contracts 2016: Miami Dolphins

Over the summer we’ll be putting up our selections for the best and worst contract on each team. We continue today with the AFC East and the Miami Dolphins

Best: Reshad Jones, 4 years, $28M, $15M guaranteed

Miami has been a bit odd through the years in that they often sign what would be considered very player friendly contracts with free agents but when it comes to negotiating with their own players are actually much more conservative than other teams. I think that was somewhat evident with the Reshad Jones extension back in 2013. The Jones contract is a prime example of how teams can exploit certain demands from the player side by conceding on things like annual value but structuring the contract in a way where the real value is far lower. Continue reading Best and Worst NFL Contracts 2016: Miami Dolphins »

Safety Reshad Jones Suspended- Loses $850K


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.




Details on Reshad Jones’ Extension with Dolphins


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.

Jons Chancellor cash flows

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.

View Reshad Jones’ Salary Cap and Contract Page