Safety Reshad Jones, the Dolphins most productive and promising defensive back, did not attend Monday's offseason conditioning session according to a team source.
The club spent much of the morning trying to locate Jones, who until Monday had near perfect attendance in the offseason program. The Dolphins start their first set of OTA days Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday and Thursday with on-field drills. The work Monday was closed to the media but the club is scheduled to open the OTA workout Tuesday.
All offseason conditioning and OTA activities are voluntary and players are not subject to fines for missing them.
The reason for Jones' absence is not completely known to the team's front office and coaches but there has been speculation among some teammates that Jones is unsatisfied with the progress -- or more accurately, the lack of progress -- in talks to extend his contract.
It is known Jones' representative and the Dolphins have had intermitent discussions about a new contract for Jones but those have obviously not been fruitful to the point of getting an extension done.
Jones was unavailable for comment. Agent Joel Segal, who represents Jones, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Whether Jones plans to attend the OTA sessions Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is unclear. Missing those would be a more clear and obvious sign that Jones is unhappy.
[Update: A source close to Jones tells me he is not planning to show up for OTAs Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday unless contract talks begin.]
This season, 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 defensive end Cameron Wake in that department.
Aside from leading the team with four interceptions last year, Jones also forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, 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.
The Dolphins have had other players show their displeasure by staying away from the offseason program recently. Defensive tackle Randy Starks, Miami's franchise player, skipped the early portion of this year's offseason program. Last year, Wake skipped part of the offseason program as well as he was looking for a contract extension because he was enterring the final year of his first deal with Miami.
The Dolphins eventually rewarded Wake with a five-year, $34.53 million deal last May.
This offseason the Dolphins have spent $91 million in guaranteed money and approximately $204 million overall on new contracts.