The trade for Benardrick McKinney seemed to end any hopes of Miami retaining another run-stuffing linebacker in Elandon Roberts.
The Dolphins, though, had other plans and took to Twitter Wednesday morning to announce that Roberts will be returning the team for the 2021 season.
Roberts suffered a right knee injury in Miami’s dramatic win over the Las Vegas Raiders that cut his season short.
Roberts, who started in 11 games for the Dolphins last season, had 61 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks on the year, but finished the season with eight tackles for a loss, highlighting his importance to Miami’s run defense.
It is important to keep in mind that Roberts, who also forced a fumble in 2020, tackled a running back through a blocker against the Rams last season.
elandon roberts already knows malcolm brown pic.twitter.com/rHgclAgyja— josh houtz (@houtz) March 24, 2021
The Dolphins still need help at outside linebacker, but are developing a strong rotation on the inside that will feature McKinney, Roberts, Jerome Baker, Sam Eguavoen and Calvin Munson.
Roberts has a long-term relationship with Brian Flores from their time together in New England and was a sixth-round pick by the Patriots in the 2016 NFL draft. Roberts played four seasons in New England and won two Super Bowls before joining the Dolphins on a one-year $2 million contract in 2020.
Miami’s focus in free agency has become apparent in recent weeks. General Manager Chris Grier has focused on building depth in free agency and will likely be shooting for the stars in the draft, which is slated to begin on Thursday, April 29.