Safety Reshad Jones must prove he is elite

August, 5, 2013
8/05/13
7:56
PM ET
Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland hasn't been afraid to write large checks this offseason. On Monday he made one final huge investment by signing safety Reshad Jones to a four-year, $30 million extension, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Dolphins promised they would eventually take care of Jones. He's been one of Miami's best young players for the past couple of years. However, the Dolphins first took care of in-house players like receiver Brian Hartline and safety Chris Clemons, as well as a variety of outside free agents that totaled more than $200 million.

Miami stuck to its word by making Jones one of the NFL's highest-paid safeties Monday. He has an annual average of nearly $8 million per season.

The Dolphins expressed confidence in Jones, and now he must prove he's one of the league's top safeties. For the past several years, Jones often talked about being a top playmaker like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. Now, he must play like one.

Jones has been a good safety the past few seasons. But "good" is no longer enough. Jones must be elite and he must do be so this season. Miami can't win consistently if its pass defense remains in the bottom of the league.

The Dolphins are in need of both leaders and playmakers in what could be an exciting year for Miami. Jones has the potential to be both for the team.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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