Five months ago Reshad Jones was stressing a little bit about his contract situation. The Dolphins had promised to get him a new deal before the start of the 2013 season but he was seeing precious little movement in that direction.
So his agent Joel Segal called the Dolphins to see what was up. And a day passed with no response. And another day passed with no response.
And so the Jones camp decided to send a clear message that they felt wronged. Jones didn't show up to offseason workouts one day.
And that got all sorts of activity going. Assistant coaches lit up Jones' phone wanting to know where he was. General Manager Jeff Ireland called the agent.
And eventually, the team promised if Jones went about his usual business, reporting to offseason workouts and camps and allowing the process to play out, they would open talks on a new deal in July. Well, two weeks ago the Dolphins started talking with Jones and Segal.
And today the club and their starting safety have agreed to and signed a four-year extension worth $30 million that includes guaranteed money of $15 million.
This deal comes in just ahead of the four-year, $29.323 million extension safety Kam Chancellor signed with Seattle in April. It falls just below the deals done for Eric Weddle (5 years, $40 million) and Antrel Rolle (five years, $37 million) signed in the last few years.
So what's the message?
It's a good one.
Jones sent the message that he's a professional. He sent the message he was going to go about his business in a statesmanlike manner and work quietly with the team as long as the team was willing to work with him. Yes, there was that day of anxiety -- to the point the Dolphins were so vexed by information leaking that they asked Jones family members not to speak to me.
(The Dolphins make a habit of telling agents and others not to speak to the media about contracts or injuries or anything, really, despite the so-called transparent approach owner Stephen Ross ordered last year).
But I digress.
After Jones met with coaches and his agent explained their stance, the team made a promise, Jones made a promise and both sides kept that promise.
Now compare that to the issue the Buffalo Bills are having with safety Jairus Byrd who is sitting out of camp. Not good.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, have sent a message into the locker room that if you are a good player with a good future and your career arc is headed up, they will try to keep you and be fair in doing so. That, believe it or not, will make the rounds in the locker room.
The Dolphins, you see, have a couple of other young players they may eventually try to extend -- Mike Pouncey, perhaps Paul Soliai, maybe Dustin Keller if he stays healthy and plays well -- and this extension before the season suggests the club is open to keeping a core of players it values.
So today was a win-win for everyone involved.