Reshad Jones believes he’s among the best safeties in football.
And now he’s paid like it.
Exactly one year before he was set to hit free agency, Jones signed a four-year contract extension with the Dolphins.
The terms: $60 million over the next five years, a sizable bump over the $7 million in base salary he was due in 2017. The $12 million average annually salary is the third-most in the league for his position.
Jones, a Pro Bowler in 2015, missed the final 10 games of the 2016 season after needing labrum surgery. Both the team and player insist that he is healthy, and Thursday’s contract extension reinforced that belief.
The former fifth-round draft pick reiterated that he expects to be ready for the start of the team’s offseason training program.
Jones added that getting healthy was his No. 1 priority this offseason, and securing an extension was second.
“It was important” to be one of the highest paid safeties in the league, Jones said. “I put so much into this game. My heart, dedication, it paid off for me."
Jones has wanted a new contract for the past year. He sat out much of the 2016 offseason program in protest, but later showed up, on time, for training camp.
Chris Grier, the Dolphins’ general manager, hinted at the move at last week’s NFL Scouting Combine.
“We’re working towards it right now,” Grier said then. “We’re talking with his agent and they’re going back and forth. Obviously, with the Eric Berry deal getting done, that may help speed things up here, too.”
Berry signed a six-year, $78 million contract to remain in Kansas City last week.
“They kept their word,” Jones said. “I’m glad it’s behind me. It’s a surreal moment. I’m excited to be back.”
Grier added this about Jones: “He’s had a great rehab. He looks like he never missed a day. I wish I had his genetics. My wife would really be happy.”
Meanwhile, the Dolphins are cutting safety Isa Abdul-Quddus because of failed physical. Abdul-Quddus suffered a shoulder and neck injury late in the season that was so significant that the Dolphins fear he’ll never play again.
▪ The Dolphins and Jaguars made official their trades Thursday; tight end Julius Thomas is indeed heading to Miami for the 211th pick of the 2017 draft and the Dolphins shipped tackle Branden Albert to Jacksonville for the Jags’ 2018 seventh rounder.
Miami Herald sports writer Barry Jackson contributed to this report.