Miami Dolphins

‘Best player on defense’ Reshad Jones ends contract holdout — for good

Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones ends hold out

Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones speaks to the media after his first day at minicamp at Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University on June 15, 2016.
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Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones speaks to the media after his first day at minicamp at Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University on June 15, 2016.

Reshad Jones is back. And he insisted Wednesday that it’s for good.

Jones ended his springtime sabbatical from Dolphins camp Wednesday, reporting for Day 2 of the team’s mandatory minicamp.

And while the months-long holdout didn’t accomplish what Jones wanted — a fresh contract with big guaranteed dollars — Jones is optimistic that a new deal is still in the cards.

“I feel confident that the organization and my agent will work something out,” said Jones, the Dolphins’ star safety. “I’m here to play football. … I’m here. Everything’s behind me. I’m ready to play football.”

By everything, Jones meant his holdout. He won’t miss the start of training camp — even if the Dolphins don’t rework a deal that has two seasons and some $14 million left.

$76,000 The amount Reshad Jones could have been fined by the Miami Dolphins for skipping the team’s manditory minicamp.

Jones returned Wednesday, at least in part, because he missed being around his teammates.

The feeling was apparently mutual.

“We missed our boy,” said center Mike Pouncey. “He’s happy to be back in the building. Obviously, our best player on defense, a great football player. We’re excited to have him back.”

Which is good news for the Dolphins, who are installing a new defense under a bunch of new coaches.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill speaks to the media about the progress of the offensive team, the return of Reshad Jones and preparations at home for his new baby.

Jones, who led all safeties in tackles (135) and touchdowns (two) in 2015, has been and will continue to be a big part of their plans — even if they haven’t completely ironed out the details yet.

“We’re going to have to figure that out,” Adam Gase said of the Dolphins’ vision for Jones. “Obviously, we’re in Day One with him. We have a general idea of how we want to use him. But that role can obviously expand when you have a player of his caliber. We want to put him in position to make as many plays as possible.”

They wasted no time Wednesday. Despite boycotting the last two months of work, Jones was quickly reinserted into the starting lineup, working alongside Michael Thomas on Wednesday. Thomas is expected to compete with newcomer Isa Abdul-Quddus for the starting free safety job throughout training camp, but might have an early edge.

“I fit right into the scheme,” Jones said. “You will see the same [No.] 20.”

Miami Dolphins head Coach Adam Gase speaks to the media during press conference after practice at Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. Video by Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Conditioning, as expected, was not an issue. Jones wasn’t exactly sitting around this spring. He worked out with Miami-based trainer David Alexander while his teammates lifted in Davie.

“That was one thing that I was told from the get-go — whenever he showed up, don’t worry about it,” Gase said. “He will be in shape. As far as I saw, the way he was moving around, he looked really good. He jumped right in there. As we were talking about yesterday, that’s what they do. What was here like — an hour and a half? — and he was able to go in and practice.”

Jones had a financial motivation to return. Had he skipped the entire minicamp, the Dolphins could have fined up $76,000. It’s unclear if they’ll punish him for the one day he missed; Gase declined to discuss the matter Wednesday.

“He’s a heck of a football player and he’s going to make us better,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. “To be able to practice against him each and every day is only going to make the offense better.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

Adam Beasley delivers Miami Herald Dolphins report after Wednesday's mini-camp at Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University.

 

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