Contract Forecast: Reshad Jones

Contract Forecast: Reshad Jones
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Contract Forecast: Reshad Jones

The Miami Dolphins made a lot of splashes this offseason - both in major free agent acquisitions (Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Brent Grimes) and with the big move to trade up in the draft to select Dion Jordan at #3. But as per usual in the NFL, new work is right around the corner, and many feel extending young safety Reshad Jones is a priority.

The Georgia product is entering the final year of his $1.95 million rookie contract and had what many say was a true breakout year in 2012.

We'll put Jones' previous two years into our forecast tool, and compare him financially to other recent safety signings (sophomore deals) to project what could be his next contract.

Comparable Safeties
Reshad Jones just turned 25 this Febraury, a number we'll use for our evaluation purposes. We've located four safeties who signed deals recently at a similar age, all and who perform statistically similar to Jones. To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract breakdown listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Kam Chancellor 5 $29,323,008 $5,864,602 25
Tyvon Branch 4 $26,600,000 $6,650,000 25
Eric Weddle 5 $40,000,000 $8,000,000 26
Michael Griffin 5 $35,000,000 $7,000,000 27
Average,s 4.75 $32,730,752 $6,878,650 25.75

Note: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.

View the list of Top Average Paid Safeties in the NFL

Because Weddle and Griffin were older than Jones, we'll bring their above contracts down to his age by subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 25 years old. Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
5 $33,637,503 $6,727,501
Statistical Analyzations, Prime Percentage
Now let's analyze these players statistically in the two years prior to signing their second contract by showing Games Played, Tackles, Assists, Forced Fumbles, Interceptions, and the percentage the oppising WR caught the ball against the DB. The results will provide us with an indication of his "prime" value prior to signing an extension.
Player Games Tackles Assists Forced Fum. INT WR Catch %
Kam Chancellor (2011-12, SEA) 15.5 71 22 1.5 2 62.15
Eric Weddle (2009-10, SD) 14.5 73.5 15 0 2 62.45
Michael Griffin (2010-11, TEN) 16 72.5 19 1.5 3 60.4
Tyvon Branch (2010-11, OAK) 16 78 26 .5 1 65.7
Averages 15.5 73.75 20.5 .875 2 62.675
Reshad Jones (2011-12, MIA) 15.5 59.5 19.5 1 2 62.8
% Difference 0 -19.32% -4.88% 14.29% 25.00% -.20%
Prime Percentage% 2.12%
Our results show a few things - the most important being that overall Jones matches up with our variable safeties. It should be noted that "run-stopping" statistics such as tackle and assists are noticably lower than our variables, most likely a testament to the formation he's most used in. However he made up ground with his ability to intercept the ball, and to shutdown receiver catches well.

We'll factor the determined Prime Percentage of 2.12%, into our previously calculated base value.
Guaranteed Money
Jones has been humbly and healthily producing through his rookie deal. His numbers have improved every year, and he averages 15.5 games per season. We'll afford him the average percent guaranteed from our variable contracts + the prime percentage.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Kam Chancellor $29,323,008 $17,000,000 58%
Tyvon Branch $26,600,000 $6,600,000 24.8%
Eric Weddle $40,000,000 $19,000,000 47.5%
Michael Griffin $35,000,000 $11,500,000 32.9%
Adjusted Regression + 2.12% 44.4%

Length of the Contract
Looking at defensive back contracts in recent years, only L. Webb has signed a deal more than 5 years in length. The going length for a sophomore deal for this positio is 5 years, a figure our rounded averages work out to as well.

Value of the Contract
Our initial age-adjusted regression provided an average annual salary just north of $6.7M, which would make him the 10th highest average paid safety in football. When factoring a slight prime percentage of 2.12%, we're able to increase our forecase to the following:

Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $34,350,618

  •  Average annual salary: $6,870,124
  •  Guaranteed money: $15,251,674