Inter Miami News

Joevin Jones out of contract following 2022, two others have club options

Inter Miami CF II v New England Revolution II. Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages
Inter Miami CF II v New England Revolution II. Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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The MLS Players Association released their list of players who will be out of contract at season's end and are eligible for free agency (at least 24 years old with 5+ years of MLS experience). The list also included players who are eligible for free agency, but have club options in their contracts. Joevin Jones is Miami's only player on the list of players out of contract. Miami then has two players with club options.

Jones, a 30-year-old defender, has played in just two matches this season (41 minutes) for Inter Miami. He has spent part of the season with Inter Miami II in MLS Next Pro, where he has played four matches (244 minutes). Jones played in ten matches (five starts) last season where he amassed 515 minutes. He missed the end of last season and beginning of this season with injury, but hasn't been able to carve out a consistent role in the squad since returning.

Jones joined Miami prior to the 2021 season as a free agent after a four-year career in Seattle. In total, he has appeared in 133 MLS matches in his career. He has six career MLS goals with 20 career assists, although he has yet to register a goal contribution for Inter Miami.

He has a cap hit of $360,000 this season (according to the MLSPA's salary guide), which isn't a ton. However it doesn't really match what Miami has gotten from him (albeit a big part of that is due to injuries). It will be interesting to see whether Miami attempts to re-sign him in free agency, with a lot potentially being determined by whether or not he can stay healthy and get back into the rotation.

Miami will then have decisions to make on the club options of two free agency eligible players: Ariel Lassiter and Brek Shea.

Lassiter, a 27-year old forward, has become a regular for Miami in his first year with the club. He has appeared in 17 matches with 12 starts on the season. He has scored one goal and has added three assists across 1,062 minutes in that time. He is also completing 78% of his passes and has made 16 key passes. He has also drawn 16 fouls.

Lassiter joined Miami this past offseason in a trade (for just $100k in GAM) after a two-year stop in Houston. He played for the LA Galaxy and for Alajuelense (in Costa Rica) previous to that. He has a $210,000 cap hit this season. I think it is very likely that Miami elects to pick up Lassiter's club option due to that he has turned into an important piece to the team and has a fairly cheap cap hit.

Shea, a 32-year old defender, has battled an injury for the majority of this season. He has been limited to just 147 minutes (three appearances/two starts) this season due to a long-term hamstring injury. In that time, he completed 80% of his passes. Shea is in his third year in Miami this season after joining as a free agent prior to Miami's expansion season in 2020 following a stop in Atlanta. Shea has six goals across 46 appearances in total in his Miami tenure.

Shea was a key player for the Herons last season and looked like he would remain in that role, but the injury derailed things. Shea is a 13-year MLS veteran with 35 goals and 25 assists in 262 career MLS matches, and a $182,000 cap-hit this season. That is definitely manageable, but the mix of injury and age is worrisome. I also believe that whether Shea can return this season, and if he does then how he looks, could play a role in whether Miami picks up his option or not.

All in all, Miami isn't in a bad spot with the contracts ending and the decisions of club options they have to make. However, this will be a crucial offseason as a whole for Miami in my opinion with plenty of decisions to be made regarding Designated Players and the sorts.

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