Monday, August 04, 2014

Is Koa Misi the answer?

Jim Rassol (Sun Sentinel)
The Dolphins released their first depth chart for the first preseason game and Koa Misi is listed as the starting inside linebacker with Ellerbe and Wheeler playing on the outside of him. Ellerbe played the inside linebacker position last season but as we saw, he looks better suited as an outside linebacker. Misi who played outside last season now is switching over inside, something the Dolphins experimented with last offseason
but ultimately decided against it.

So what makes this season different? Misi is entering his 5th season and needs to make a big jump in order to not only help his cause this year but ultimately in the years that follow in order to ensure he remains a Dolphin. This year Misi counts just $2.3 million against the cap however that number almost doubles next season with a $4.4 million cap hit. Looking a year into the future is a bit premature considering he hasn't played a down yet this season, however it will definitely be something the Dolphins consider next season.

Misi if he plays well however will be worth that future cap hit. He has shown some promise over the last 4 years but this could be his most crucial year transitioning over to the inside. This I believe will be one of the biggest questions the Dolphins will face and something we should keep an eye on as preseason rolls around the next 4 weeks and then into the season. Besides the quarterback position and the offensive line, the linebacker position will be one of the biggest keys for the Dolphins next season. Hopefully it all goes well.
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Yes it is a big year for Misi or anyone else whose cap hit doubles the following year.

Chances are, if he plays well, they will restructure his contract to lower the cap hit and extend it a year or two and add a signing bonus.

If he doesn't play well, then he probably would get cut prior to the cap hit or take a pay cut to stay as a back up.


I think it is safe to say all three linebackers pictured above need to have good years. Otherwise they are in a position of being overpaid. Also case in point as to why Ellerbe did not have a great year. Look at his belly compared to Wheeler's belly in that picture. I do feel like Misi will do a great job and shutting down the interior run in the middle this year. I am concerned about his sideline to sideline pursuit and ability to cover. This is a guy that was essentially a defensive end at one point so I am not sure how fast he is. You may seen some different personal looks all season at linebacker. If Miami needs to have faster group in there I think you will see more of Jelani Jenkins in there as well.


I think Misi will be a pleasant surprise this year. Ellerbe must become a better cover LBer and IMO the coaching staff must get Wheeler off the field in obvious passing situations. All in all, I believe the LBer unit will be better as a whole this upcoming season...


None of those veteran LBs ever really impressed. It's hard for me to expect them to suddenly get better in their 5th or 6th season.