The Miami Dolphins and linebacker Kiko Alonso have reached a four-year deal with Kiko Alonso, the club announced.
The deal is worth a total of $29 million with $18.5 guaranteed, an NFL source first told the Palm Beach Post.
Alonso flourished in his first season with the Dolphins, racking up 115 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble and 2 interceptions.
“We are building something special here and I want to be a part of it,” Alonso said Tuesday.
Alonso, 26, wanted to stay in Miami and the Dolphins wanted to keep him in the organization because of his speed, versatility and on-field passion.
“Miami? This is where I belong,” Alonso said last season.
Dolphins coaches cited several times last year that Alonso played with the recklessness that they would like all their players to exhibit.
“That’s just the way I play,” Alonso said Tuesday. “I’ve played that way since high school, since I played in my backyard with my friends. Health-wise I just, I’m not going to change the way I play, so it is what it is.”
Alonso, 6-feet-3, 239 pounds, had been offered a one-year restricted free agent tender at the first-round level, which means if an agreement had not been reached, he would very likely had been in Miami in 2017.
Before last season the Dolphins acquired Alonso, cornerback Byron Maxwell and the 13th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft (Laremy Tunsil) in exchange for the 8th pick.
The Eagles wanted to move on from Alonso after one season because he had a slower-than-hoped time recovering from a knee injury. But Alonso showed toughness with Miami last season, playing through hamstring and thumb injuries.
The acquisition of middle linebacker Lawrence Timmons in free agency means Alonso will likely be moved to the outside.
Miami had been visiting with another versatile linebacker, Zach Brown, on a free agent visit on Monday and Tuesday. But Brown left without a deal and is headed to Buffalo for a visit, a source said.
Alonso said he has not met Timmons, but “I admire the way he plays.”
Asked about the likely move to outside linebacker, Alonso said: “At the end of the day, linebacker is linebacker. You know? You hit.”
Get Dolphins stories right to your Facebook by liking this page