The number one priority for the Miami Dolphins in 2017 has to be the linebacker group. No other unit on the entire team is in more need of upgrade than linebacker.
Koa Misi is not a guarantee to return and frankly he shouldn’t. His neck injury is serious and even if it wasn’t all but $578,000 of his $4,478,000 million contract would go on the dead money pile if he was released. Honestly his salary really isn’t a problem but his play on the field when he is healthy is not game changing.
On the other side is Jelani Jenkins and despite his injuries, Jenkins didn’t make the impact he did two seasons ago. In face he didn’t make all that much of an impact last season either.
That leaves Kiko Alonso who is a free agent. The Dolphins must sign Alonso but he is better suited to play on the weak outside than in the middle. The Dolphins have to address the position in both the draft and in free agency.
Neville Hewitt has shown signs that he can be serviceable but he still needs to learn a lot to be a full-time starter. Spencer Paysinger has done very well this year but mostly on special teams while Donald Butler has done little and likely will not be back.
Of all the positions, this is by far the most important off-season and it could go a long way towards the success and failure of the defense in 2017.