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Koa Misi nearing re-worked contract with Dolphins; Frees up cap space without adding years

The Miami Dolphins and linebacker Koa Misi are closing in on a re-structured contract.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have been looking at various ways to create salary cap space this offseason, including releasing players as well as signing other players to re-worked contract extensions. In a move somewhat surprising, both for the players involved and the lack of additional years on the contract, the Dolphins are working on a new contract with linebacker Koa Misi.

First reported by Fox Sports' Alex Marvez, followed by reports from the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley and Barry Jackson, as well as Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, the Dolphins will be keeping Misi with the team for 2016, but should see some salary cap relief in the new deal. The new contract, however, will not add any additional years to Misi's contract, which runs through the 2017 season.

Misi was scheduled to account for a $4.878 million cap hit in 2016, followed by $4.778 million in 2017. If he were to be released this year, a roster move thought to be possible for the Dolphins as they look to upgrade the linebacker position this offseason, the team would add $3.722 million in cap space, while picking up $1.156 million in dead money.

Any restructuring of the contract would likely lower Misi's salary cap number for 2016, possibly by moving money into a signing bonus, allowing the Dolphins to spread the money over the two years on the contract. It could also simply be a pay-cut for Misi, one to which he agreed, and one in which there would likely be incentives Misi could earn to still earn the full value of the contract.

Misi has played both middle linebacker and strong-side linebacker for the Dolphins the last couple of seasons, and he could enter into the mix for a starting role again this year. Miami's second-round pick in 2010, Misi only played in 13 games last season as he battled through injuries, but he tallied 77 tackles, setting a new career high.