The Miami Dolphins and linebacker Koa Misi have agreed to a restructured contract according to reports.
Misi missed most of last season with a serious neck injury so his return is a bit surprising. As the season came to an end Misi was reportedly on his way out of Miami and possibly the NFL entirely due to the injury. He must have been cleared to return to football.
The move has not been officially announced by the Dolphins so the contract terms are unknown. It has been said that he has taken a pay cut. Which is good because he was slated to make $4.7 million this year. Releasing Misi would have saved the Dolphins $4.2 in cap space.
So now that Misi is back in the fold, is it a good thing? Honestly, I don’t like it.
Misi was serviceable at best in his better years. He hasn’t seen a better year in more than two. At his best Misi was a solid tackler but rarely made an impact rushing the quarterback and even more rarely made plays behind the line of scrimmage but instead was often making plays downfield.
Over the course of his seven year career Misi has never totaled more than 78 tackles. He has three fumble recoveries, 11 passes defensed, and has scored one touchdown. In other words, he is average.
The Dolphins were not weakened on defense in 2016 by the absence of Misi and they will not make their defensive unit better with him in the lineup. To be fair the deal could simply be in a back-up role.
Miami is showing a continued push to keep their own players but this signing raises more than a few questions. One of which, his health can not be overlooked.
In his seven year career, Misi has only appeared in all 16 games one time. His rookie season in 2010. He missed four games in 2011, two in 2012, one in 2013, and five in 2014. Last season Misi missed 13 games after missing three the previous season.
How the Dolphins plan to use Misi isn’t known but his inconsistency on the field and inability to stay healthy are real concerns. Real enough that even at a reduced price, Misi doesn’t bring enough value to a defense that has struggled against the run.