Reshad Jones was one of the most integral pieces of the Miami Dolphins defense over the past ten years. Now, just as the Dolphins enter a decade full of new faces and renewed hope, Jones may be entering a new phase of his own.
Per Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post, Reshad Jones’ career may be over, but the Pro Bowl defensive back says that he has no regrets about how his career played out, just some misgivings about how he was perceived by the rest of the league. Jones explains “I had a great career. Really I think I had Hall of Fame numbers. You go look at me, Troy Polamalu, Brian Dawkins, he played 16 years, I really had Hall of Fame numbers, just wasn’t on a Hall of Fame team. We just couldn’t put the games together. But I had an amazing career.” Jones is careful to note that he’s very grateful for his time as a Dolphin and appreciated the fans in Miami in particular.
When Schad brought up the 2010s NFL All-Decade Team, a unit that boasted the likes of Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, and Eric Weddle (and not Jones), the longtime Dolphin gave his opinion on whether he thought he deserved a spot, and he didn’t mince words. “There is no way I shouldn’t have been on the All-Decade team,” Jones remarked. “You go look at any safety. Eric Berry, whoever. The numbers can’t compare. They don’t add up. I don’t have any regrets about my 10-year career, saying I should have done this or should have done that. If I play again is still in the air, but you know I feel like I got in and did everything I needed to do.”
Looking back on his accomplishments, Jones gave credit to those who helped him along the way. It’s clear, based on Schad’s piece, that Jones feels real gratitude towards many of the coaches who he played under (though maybe not all of them). On the late Tony Sparano, Jones said, “I am grateful to Sparano for believing in me and giving me a chance to be a starter. He brought me up one time my rookie year into his office and said ‘Right now we’ve got five safeties here and you’re the weakest link. You’ve got to step up.’ He just kept it real with me, and I went out and proved it.”
Jones didn’t have as many kind words to say about now New York Jets head coach Adam Gase. Discussing his final years with the Dolphins, Jones explained:
It was a misunderstanding. Coach told me to come out the game. Why are you taking a Pro Bowler out the game? Why am I rotating? Why are you telling me to sit down? But what they were trying to do was cover up. Because you had a first-round draft pick, and they knew he had to play. And the owner was looking at it like, ‘Hey why did we get this guy as a first-round draft pick and he’s not playing?’ So they had to justify having a first-round draft pick there, as a safety, when we had a Pro Bowl safety and another decent safety. So now we have to figure out OK, well, this is why we got Minkah playing. It wasn’t because of me. It was a mistake they made. Adam Gase wanted me out of there ’18 and ’19, and when the guys from New England, like (Brian) Flores, got there, it was a bad taste in their mouth because of what was being said from Gase and his crew.
Finally, expanding on his potential retirement and future endeavors on or off the field, Jones, said:
I definitely can play again... I just don’t know if I will. I had a couple teams call my agent, but I can’t pass a physical right now. So a lot of teams when they call it’s just no point. They find out I have to have surgery. So right now, a lot of teams don’t want to talk because I can’t get on the field or pass the physical. But it’s not career ending. I don’t think it is. The doctor said I can get a surgery and play again. But in year ten, with all I have accomplished and financially I am set, I have a couple things I have to weigh out.
Per Schad, if Jones chooses not to continue his NFL career, he’ll focus on “real estate and the sports agency industry and some business opportunities, including entering the gourmet ice cream industry with Marshawn Lynch.”
Walking in to an ice cream shop and seeing Reshad Jones and Marshawn Lynch serving double chocolate chunk on a waffle cone... sign me up.
Reshad Jones may have been one of the most under-appreciated players to ever wear aqua and orange, at least when it comes to how the rest of the league viewed the top-tier safety. That said, Dolphins fans are no strangers to national disrespect to some of their greats. Heck... Zach Thomas still doesn’t have a gold jacket! It’s likely Jones waits a long time to ever get one of his own (and that’s if he ever gets one at all), but as a longtime Dolphin fan, I know that, here in South Florida, he’ll always be one of the most beloved players to grace the gridiron.
I highly recommend you check out the rest of Schad’s article here. The piece is an eye-opening read about Jones’ experiences in the NFL and on the Miami Dolphins in particular, and Schad himself does an excellent job putting it all together.
Looking for more Miami Dolphins news, analysis, and updates? Follow Justin Hier on Twitter @HierJustin.