Reshad Jones might not be that well known to the common fan, but the 3rd year safety broke out in relative obscurity last season in Miami, grading out as ProFootballFocus’ 3rd ranked safety. He was solid against the run, but was most valuable in coverage, where he allowed just 19 catches on 39 attempts for 247 receiving yards, 1 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions, while deflecting 4 passes and committing just 1 penalty. His 38.0 QB rating allowed was best at his position among full-time safeties.
If he continues to play this well, he’s well worth the 30 million over 4 years this contract gives him, with north of 15 million guaranteed. It makes him the 5th highest paid safety in the NFL, behind Troy Polamalu, Eric Berry, Dashon Goldson, and Eric Weddle. However, it is a risk giving him this kind of money after just one season, especially after he graded out below average in his first season as a starter in 2011, after being drafted in the 5th round in 2010.
That being said, this deal could be well worth it. If he has another season like 2012 again in 2013, he’d position himself going into free agency next off-season to get a contract similar to the one Eric Weddle (5 years, 40 million with 19 million guaranteed) or Dashon Goldson (5 years, 41.25 million with 22 million guaranteed) got. This could prove to be a bargain compared to those deals. It also prevented him from being unhappy. He only reported to OTAs last month because the Dolphins promised him contract negotiations, after spending tons of money on outside players this off-season. It’s a smart deal.