As the Miami Dolphins continue to fight for money to fund stadium renovations, one of their own is fighting for money to fund his livelihood.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Dolphins safety Reshad Jones is not planning on showing up for organized team activities unless contract talks begin:
He has every right to be upset about his current situation.
Jones signed with the Dolphins in 2010 as a fifth-round draft pick, but he has clearly surpassed his draft slotting at this early stage in his career. He has developed into a playmaker for the Dolphins defense, and ranked third on the team in tackles and first in interceptions in 2012.
According to stats website Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he allowed a 38 passer rating into his coverage, which ranked fifth among all NFL safeties. He also allowed just one touchdown into his coverage, while his four interceptions tied for fourth among safeties.
For all of Jones' merits, his 2013 salary is a pittance compared to what the other safeties are making.
Not only are safeties making big money this offseason, but so are players who do business with general manager Jeff Ireland. The Dolphins have already signed nine notable contracts worth a grand total of approximately $183 million this offseason. Perhaps that means the Dolphins are done spending, especially with just over $7.3 million in cap space (according to Spotrac) and a few draft picks left to sign.
That being said, they could still make it work, and Jones doesn't need to look any further than his own locker room for a good example of why holding out may not be such a bad idea after all. Last year, defensive end Cameron Wake made a similar statement about his sentiments toward his contract, and he got his wishes with a new five-year, $33.2 million deal.
The Dolphins could wait until next offseason, when they'll have over $20 million in cap space yet again (per Spotrac), but with signings at nearly every other key position, Jones should be the next contractual priority for Miami. If the Dolphins are doing business right, they'll make sure he doesn't get a chance to explore other options.
UPDATE: Looks like Jones is planning to attend OTAs after all, according to Salguero.
Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.com. Follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise noted, all stats obtained from the Sports-Reference.com network, and all quotes obtained firsthand or via team press releases.