Kiko Alonso got rewarded for a bounce-back 2016 season.
The Dolphins announced they have given the linebacker a three-year contract extension, keeping Alonso under contract in Miami through 2020. The extension is worth $25 million, including $18.5 million guaranteed, which is tacked on to the $3.9 million restricted tender he received this season, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday.
The Dolphins prioritized locking down the 26-year-old linebacker after he compiled 115 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defended in 2016, his first year in Miami.
The Dolphins acquired the linebacker in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles after one disappointing season, when Alonso was clearly struggling to return from a knee injury that wiped out his entire 2014 year.
As a rookie with the Buffalo Bills, Alonso became a cult-like figure in Western New York. The tackling demon was all over the field, compiling 159 tackles and four interceptions in 2013.
Alonso had an up-and-down campaign in 2016, sometimes looking like his former rangy self, while in other games getting lost in the wash versus the run and looking slowed by hand and hamstring injuries. Pro Football Focus ranked Alonso their 48th linebacker in 2016.
Given the Dolphins prioritizing an extension for the linebacker, team brass is betting the further he gets from the knee injury, the more he’ll return the form he displayed as a rookie.