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NFL Kiko Alonso signs 3-Year extension with Miami Dolphins

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.

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 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 26-year-old linebacker is coming off a strong bounce-back season after struggling to make an impact with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.

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.Staying healthy was the biggest key. The Oregon product has an extensive injury history, including a torn ACL that forced him to miss the entire 2014 season with the Buffalo Bills.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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