Safety Reshad Jones did not attend the Dolphins offseason conditioning session Monday and is unsure whether he will attend organized team activity practices that begin Tuesday because he is unhappy with his current contract and wants negotiations on an extension to begin, multiple sources told The Miami Herald.
The Dolphins spent much of Monday trying to locate Jones after he failed to show up to the offseason program. Although players sometimes miss sessions and make them up later, Jones’ absence raised eyebrows because he has had near-perfect attendance previously, a team source said.
It turns out Jones stayed away to show his apparent desire to get a contract extension.
Neither Jones nor his agent could be reached for comment, but a source close to Jones said the player would like talks on an extension to begin, and he plans to stay away from the offseason program and perhaps OTA practices until progress is made toward that end.
The source said Jones would rejoin the Dolphins offseason program and OTA sessions if the team begins talking with him about a new deal.
All offseason conditioning and OTA activities are voluntary, and players are not subject to fines for missing them. Players unhappy with their contract often make their displeasure known by staying away from the sessions.
Last year, Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake stayed away from the offseason program until the Dolphins gave him a five-year deal worth $34.53 million.
Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks has skipped most of the offseason conditioning program this year and is also likely to skip the OTAs because he wants a multiyear deal from the team. The Dolphins tagged Starks with a one-year franchise tender worth $8.45 million earlier in the offseason.
Jones is scheduled to be in the final year of his rookie contract, which he signed as a fifth-round draft pick out of the University of Georgia in 2010. But Jones has largely outperformed that deal, starting 28 games the past two seasons. On a team looking for defensive playmakers, Jones has been second only to Wake in that department.
Aside from leading the team with four interceptions last year, Jones also forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles and had one sack and three quarterback hits. Jones was also third on the team with 74 solo tackles.
Jones is scheduled to make $1.323 million this season, according to figures filed with the NFL Players Association. That would make him the team’s lowest-paid starting defensive back and among the club’s lowest paid starters — depending on which players win starting jobs in training camp.
Jones has shared his desire to get an extension from the Dolphins with several teammates. Agent Joel Segal, who represents Jones, is known to have had intermittent discussions with Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland about a new contract, but those have obviously not been fruitful to the point of getting an extension done.
This offseason the Dolphins have spent $91 million in guaranteed money and approximately $204 million overall on new contracts.