“The Dolphins thought enough of Brandon Jones that they were never inclined to offer a sizable contract to Jordan Poyer or any other free agent safety,” Jackson wrote.
Jones, 25, was a third-round pick by the Dolphins in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was having a strong 2022 season before suffering a torn ACL that cost him the rest of the season.
Through seven games in the 2022 campaign, Jones racked up 49 combined tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss, three passes defended and one forced fumble. The University of Texas product seized a starting role for the Dolphins during the 2021 season, starting 13 of the 15 games that he appeared in.
Miami ranked 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed last season. Despite having a below average pass defense last season, the Dolphins still made the postseason with a 9-8 record.
The Dolphins clearly think Jones can return to playing at a high level even after the ACL tear, as they opted to upgrade the cornerback position more than the safety spot alongside Jevon Holland ahead of the 2023 campaign.
It makes sense that the team wasn’t willing to pay up for a veteran safety in free agency, especially since the Dolphins took on more salary in the trade market to improve the secondary.
Miami made a trade for Jalen Ramsey, a Pro Bowl cornerback that should strengthen the team’s pass defense. Last season for the Los Angeles Rams, Ramsey picked off four passes. He finished with a career-high 88 combined tackles, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
The Dolphins also drafted a cornerback in Cam Smith, giving them some solid depth behind Ramsey and Xavien Howard at the position.
If Jones is able to return to form in the 2023 season, Miami should have one of the better secondaries in the NFL. For his career, Jones has played in 38 games and made 24 starts. He’s recorded one career interception, 190 combined tackles and eight sacks.