The easy part of Reshad Jones’ contract holdout is over.
The financial pain for Jones will begin Tuesday.
Jones’ boycott of Dolphins practice will continue at least through this week’s mandatory minicamp, NFL Network first reported.
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The Miami Herald has since confirmed that report.
That means the Dolphins can fine Jones up to $76,000 this week. And if the holdout continues into training camp, they can fine him each day he misses.
And if in the unlikely event the boycott carries into the season, Jones would lose more than $400,000 for every game he misses — money that will be hard for him to ever to make up, no matter how big his next contract.
That’s why most — if not all — league executives expect him to play for the $7.2 million in base salary he’s owed in the four-year contract extension he signed in 2013.
The sense around football is Jones badly misplayed his hand and might even have less leverage now than when the offseason began. Jones often calls himself the “best safety in the NFL” and wants to be paid like it. But with two years left on an already competitive contract, he probably won’t be this season.
Jones has skipped the Dolphins’ entire spring session, which to this point has been voluntary. The financial stakes change this week.
Here’s why Jones doesn’t have much leverage: He is already the second-highest paid strong safety in the league, behind only Eric Berry, who is on a one-year franchise tag.
Jones’ situation is not unlike Kam Chancellor’s last year. Despite having three years left on his contract, the Seahawks safety skipped the first two weeks of the season before ultimately caving. He still has no new deal.
Still, the market for safeties continues to rise. Just last week, Vikings free safety Harrison Smith signed a new five-year deal paying him more than $10 million annually.
Like Jones, Smith made his first Pro Bowl in 2015. Jones set or tied career-highs last year in tackles (135), sacks (two), passes defensed (10), interceptions (five) and touchdowns (two).
Dolphins’ mandatory minicamp runs Tuesday through Thursday. The team will practice roughly an hour and a half each day in shorts and helmets. NFL rules prohibit practicing in pads until training camp, which will begin in late July.
Jones aside, the Dolphins’ voluntary spring program has been well-attended. Ndamukong Suh has been present for organized team activities after skipping voluntary veterans rookie camp in late April.
Miami Herald staff writer Armando Salguero contributed to this report.