Dolphins safety Jones signs $60M extension

MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones signed a $60 million, five-year contract extension Thursday, watched the team’s flurry of moves at the start of free agency and said he’s glad to be staying around.

“I think our ceiling is very high,” Jones said. “We’re building something special here.”

The Dolphins made other moves to keep their core, placing tenders on linebacker Kiko Alonso and safety Michael Thomas. They finalized two trades, including the acquisition of tight end Julius Thomas from Jacksonville, and re-acquired Anthony Fasano as a backup tight end.

Thomas was obtained for a seventh-round draft pick this year, and the Dolphins sent left tackle Branden Albert to Jacksonville for a seventh-rounder in 2018. Terms of the trades were agreed to last month.

The Dolphins also hosted a visit by free agent defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard, who has 36 sacks in six NFL seasons.

Miami gave Jones $35 million guaranteed and a base salary of $7 million this year. He was heading into the final season of a $28 million, four-year contract.

He held out briefly during Miami’s 2016 offseason program seeking a new contract, and said it was “surreal” to reach a deal.

“I’m going to give it my all, like I’ve been doing,” Jones said. “I think I have a high ceiling. I just want to continue to be consistent and continue to show I’m one of the best safeties in the game.”

Jones suffered a season-ending rotator cuff injury last year and played in only six games. He said he’s healthy now and will be ready for the start of the team’s offseason program.

Coach Adam Gase will be reunited with Thomas, who caught 24 touchdown passes in 2013-14 when they were with the Denver Broncos. Gase was Denver’s offensive coordinator.

In the past two seasons, Thomas totaled 76 catches for 736 yards and nine touchdowns with the Jaguars.

Albert, 32, missed 13 games because of injuries in his three seasons with Miami.

The Dolphins placed a $3.9 million first-round tender on Alonso, making it likely he’ll remain with the team in 2017. Miami also placed original round tenders on Thomas and running back Damien Williams for $1.8 million each, and restructured the contract of defensive end Nick Williams.

Alonso, Thomas and Damien Williams were tendered as restricted free agents. The Dolphins have the right to match another team’s offer to any of those three, and would get a compensatory first-round pick if Alonso leaves.

Alonso started 15 games in 2016 and led Miami with 115 tackles (69 solo). He had four fumble recoveries, which tied for the NFL lead, and two interceptions.
Thomas played in all 16 games in 2016 and made eight starts.

Fasano signed a five-year contract to rejoin the Dolphins as Thomas’ backup. Fasano played for Miami in 2008-12 and spent the past two seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

His most recent year with the Dolphins was quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s rookie season, and they remain good friends.

“We always stay in touch during the season, just checking in on each other,” Fasano said. “I’ve always been a big fan of him. He was a great teammate for the year that we were teammates and he continues to be a great friend. I really believe in him and the prospects for this team.”

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