The Dolphins already had more cap space than any other team in the NFL before they released Jones. Now, they will have more than $90 million.
The salary cap for 2020 will be around $200 million, which means the Dolphins have nearly 50 percent of it left to spend. Obviously, they can sign any free agent they want with that type of money. They could make a run at top free agent quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Teddy Bridgewater, or they could draft the quarterback many believe they have an eye on and spend money elsewhere.
Should they choose to wait until next season to have a spending spree, the Dolphins can do that, too. The bottom line is they have more flexibility than any team in football. If they don’t spend a significant amount of that money, the tanking talk will come right back to the forefront.
The Dolphins may be prepared to part ways with Jones after the season even though he is signed to a 5-year, $60 million deal. They can cut him before over $11 million of his salary for 2019 becomes guaranteed on March 16.
One Dolphins source on Reshad Jones…”If he doesn’t want to play for us, (bleep) it.”
Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, several popular names still lead the fray when it comes to defensive production. However, key injuries to superstars like J.J. Watt have created a void that has been filled by some surprising players, many of whom are having career years.
Here’s a look at each NFL team’s best defensive player so far in 2017.
Arizona Cardinals — Tyvon Branch, S
There are a lot of talented defenders on Arizona’s roster, but through six weeks, it’s hard to argue that Tyvon Branch — who has been called a “wolverine” complement to the “honey badger” — isn’t the very best. He not only leads the team and is tied for the league lead with 55 tackles, but he’s also defended four passes, forced a fumble and was named to the Pro Football Focus First Quarter All-Pro Team. Branch getting the nod says a lot about his impact this season when you consider Arizona also has Chandler Jones and his six sacks.
Atlanta Falcons — Deion Jones, LB
Deion Jones has filled out the box score this year, leading the Falcons with 38 tackles. He’s also recorded a sack, three passes defended and an interception. Jones is also among Pro Football Focus’ top 15 graded linebackers this season, alongside teammate De’Vondre Campbell, who has also landed very high grades for Atlanta. Jones is blossoming well for Atlanta in his second NFL season.
The Miami Dolphins may have a significant problem on their hands, with safety Reshad Jones reportedly contemplating sitting out the season if the team does not give him an improved contract.
The Pro Bowl safety has thus far skipped all voluntary workouts to protest his current contract, and sources told Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel that Jones is considering sitting out the entire 2016 season if he does not get the deal he wants, despite already being the seventh highest paid player on the team and the eighth best paid safety in the league.
Jones reportedly wants a deal that will put him in the same financial bracket as elite defensive backs such as Earl Thomas and Eric Berry, said to be somewhere in the $10 million per year range. Jones would be set to make $7.25 million in 2016 under the terms of his current deal. Berry is also working on a contract extension with the Chiefs.
The team has thus far not made much of Jones’s absences. The real concern will begin if he begins skipping mandatory minicamps, the first of which begins June 14.
Jones may be bluffing, because he’s not exactly hurting for money on his current contract. $7.25 million is a lot to forfeit, and that doesn’t even include the fines that would be handed down if he skipped the team’s mandatory preseason and offseason activities.