The Miami Dolphins signed linebacker Kiko Alonso to a four-year contract extension Tuesday, the team announced.
“It means everything,” said Alonso, who led the Dolphins with 115 tackles last season in addition to two interceptions. “This is where I want to be. I’m just excited that it’s official that I’m staying here.”
Both sides have been in extension talks since the start of the offseason. Miami gave Alonso a first-round tender earlier this month to prevent the linebacker, a restricted free agent, from exploring his options with other teams. That also allowed the Dolphins more time to continue to work on an extension.
“I love my coaches,” Alonso said. “I love my teammates. I know we’re building something special here, and I want to be a part of it.”
Alonso played middle linebacker last year but is expected to move to outside linebacker in 2017 after the Dolphins signed middle linebacker Lawrence Timmons in free agency. Miami was 30th against the run last season and needs to get bigger and more physical in the middle of its defense.
“I haven’t talked to him yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to playing with him,” the 26-year-old Alonso said of Timmons. “He’s definitely one of the guys who I admire the way that he plays. The guy is a great player and I definitely look forward to playing with him.”
With Alonso, the Dolphins continue their offseason trend of signing their own players to extensions. The team also re-signed former Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones ($60 million), receiver Kenny Stills ($32 million) and defensive end Andre Branch ($24 million) in the past few weeks.
The Dolphins acquired Alonso in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles last season. Miami went 10-6 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.