Adam Schefter of ESPN.com has reported that the Miami Dolphins and free agent linebacker Karlos Dansby have agreed to a five-year, $43 million contract—with $22 million guaranteed.
The deal comes after Dansby spent the first day of free agency visiting the Dolphins to begin negotiating a contract.
It will be the one and only stop of his short-lived free agent experience.
Earlier in the day, the Dolphins released linebackers Joey Porter and Akin Ayodele, as well as free safety Gibril Wilson. Releasing the three starters cleared up more than $30 million for the team.
That money—and more—was transferred over to Dansby, who now becomes the most high-profile player of Miami's defense.
Dansby has recorded more than 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons. He also has 25.5 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, and 10 career interceptions. Simply put, the 28-year-old is a playmaker.
He adds a new layer to this Dolphins team—one that as been lacking any sort of playmaking ability at inside linebacker since Channing Crowder took over as the team's mic in 2008.
Crowder and Ayodele combined for just 122 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble in 2009. Getting that same production—and more—from one player will be a huge boost to the Dolphins defense.
Dansby is also capable of playing outside linebacker as well as taking over at the mic. At 6'4" and 250 pounds, he has the size, speed, and athleticism to play pretty much any linebacking role. With Porter and Jason Taylor—the team's incumbent starters at outside linebacker—now both free agents, Miami will need to find some answers at the position.
Dansby may be that answer.
Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain has been linked to the Dolphins as a possible selection with the 12th pick in the upcoming draft. Bringing in McClain and sliding Dansby over to the outside would solve the Dolphins issues with the unit.
How that will play out remains to be seen. What is known is that Dansby is headed to Miami, and he's ready to take over the defense.
He was one of the vocal leaders on the Arizona Cardinals. Expect his voice to be heard loud and clear in 2010.
He'll be wearing Dolphins teal when you hear him.