Saints News Network is counting down the days to the Saints' Week 1 clash with the Green Bay Packers. With 54 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2021 Saints season, here is a look at New Orleans' most recent #54: LB Kiko Alonso
Kiko Alonso, 30, has played eight NFL seasons and headed into his second season with the New Orleans Saints. A three-star recruit out of High School, Alonso attended the University of Oregon as the Ducks primary MLB. In, 2010 the team suspended the redshirt sophomore for the entire 2010 season for multiple legal offenses. Oregon HC Chip Kelly gave Alonso second and third chances in 2011, making him the team's starting MLB after the suspension. During his Senior campaign at Oregon, Alonso recorded 87 tackles, 16 TFL, 4 INT, and 2 FF. He was also named the 2012 Rose Bowl Defensive Player of the Game.
The Buffalo Bills drafted Alonso in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, 46th overall. As a rookie, he started all 16 games at MLB, making 159 tackles, 11 TFL, 4 INT, and 2 FR. PFWA named Alonso the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year for his performance.
In 2014, Alonso tore his ACL during a summer workout at the University of Oregon. The following offseason, he was a part of a trade package to Miami in exchange for a first-round pick. During his three years with the Dolphins, Alonso tallied 115+ tackles in each season. His 2016 performance of 115 tackles, 4 FR, and 2 INT earned him a 4-year contract extension. Before the 2019 season, he was traded to the Saints for LB Vince Biegel.
In a reserve LB role with New Orleans in 2019, Alonso dressed in thirteen games, starting four. He totaled 31 tackles (25 solo) and 3 TFL. Alonso suffered an ACL tear in the Saints playoff loss to the Vikings but is expected to play in 2020. In March, Alonso restructured his contract with New Orleans, agreeing to take less than the $7.8M he was set to make in 2020.
Alonso was traded halfway though the 2020 NFL Season to the San Fransisco 49ers along with a 5th Round Draft Choice in exchange for Linebacker Kwon Alexander. The former second-round pick never suited up for the 49ers and is currently a free agent.
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