The Miami Dolphins and restricted free-agent linebacker Kiko Alonso came to terms on three-year, $29 million contract extension with $18.5 million guaranteed Tuesday, per Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald confirmed the news.
Miami previously announced the use of a first-round tender on Alonso as a major deterrent in case other front offices were considering the use of an offer sheet. That said, an extension to provide a little more stability for both the player and the team always seemed to be the goal.
The 26-year-old linebacker is coming off a strong bounce-back season after struggling to make an impact with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. He racked up 115 combined tackles, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions and a touchdown in his first year with the Dolphins.
In January, Alonso told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that he finally started feeling like the player he was before the injuries started to take their collective toll.
"I feel back to normal," he said. "I feel my explosion, my strength, everything."
His long-term position is one other question mark. He spent his first season in Miami operating as an effective middle linebacker, but there's been talk about potentially moving him to the outside in the future.
Salguero passed along further information about the situation:
A source close to Alonso tells the Miami Herald that Alonso doesn't want to move from the middle linebacker spot in 2017. He enjoys playing middle linebacker the most and believes that's his spot, the source said. Alonso, by the way, has on separate occasions also told me he prefers to play middle linebacker but would consider doing whatever was best for the team.
Alonso figures to pencil in as the Dolphins' starter at middle linebacker to open the 2017 campaign.
The team added former Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons to the fold, but Alonso's contract extension makes it seem like he's the answer in the middle.
Whether he stays there for the long haul will depend on his production, but he should remain a tackling machine regardless of his position.