Kiko Alonso

Why Raiders missing out on acquiring Kiko Alonso is big loss for Oakland

Why Raiders missing out on acquiring Kiko Alonso is big loss for Oakland

Scratch one option off the Raiders' possible linebacker wish list. And it's a big loss.

When the Raiders trimmed their roster down to 53 players over the weekend, the most glaring hole was at linebacker. Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock cut Brandon Marshall -- who still is working to get back to full strength -- and last year's special teams captain Kyle Wilber, leaving the Raiders with only four linebackers on the roster.

As cuts were being made around the league, it appeared that Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso would be an option for the Silver and Black. Alonso, who started all but two games over the past three seasons in Miami, requested a trade during camp as new head coach Brian Flores looks to start over.

The Raiders reportedly were one of the teams to kick the tires on Alonso, but the Dolphins shipped the Oregon product to the Saints on Sunday in exchange for linebacker Vince Biegel.

While Alonso has had his own issues with questionable hits during his career, he is a very productive linebacker who would have been a tremendous addition to a linebacking corps in need of a guy with his skill set.

Alonso is an instinctive linebacker who is a good open-field tackler and runs the field well. He's been tested in coverage and held up. He's been healthy and productive each of the past three seasons and is a versatile backer who can play multiple positions.

Over the last three seasons, Alonso has ranked fifth in tackles (354), sixth in interceptions among linebackers (five) and tied for third in fumble recoveries among LBs (three).

[RELATED: Analyzing Raiders' 53-man roster]

The Raiders surely will find another linebacker to join Vontaze Burfict, Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee and Nicholas Morrow, but Alonso would have been a great addition to a defense in need of another versatile linebacker who can cover. 

It's a miss that shouldn't be overlooked.

NFL rumors: Raiders among teams to 'kick tires' on Kiko Alonso trade

NFL rumors: Raiders among teams to 'kick tires' on Kiko Alonso trade

The Raiders reportedly cut linebacker Brandon Marshall on Friday, but they might still be exploring other options at the position. 

Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso requested a trade, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported Friday, citing sources. The Raiders reportedly are one of the interested teams, according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson. 

Alonso, 29, has spent the last three seasons in Miami. He started all 46 games he played, and tied for fifth among NFL linebackers over the last three years with 354 combined tackles. But those gaudy tackling numbers mask some of Alonso's recent struggles, as Pro Football Focus found Alonso missed 11 tackles and allowed 638 receiving yards with nearly 71 percent of passes thrown into his coverage completed. Overall, he graded out as just a 49.7 by PFF's measurements last year. 

[RELATED: Raiders roster cuts tracker -- Keep up with every move here]

As the Dolphins rebuild, Alonso has not been relied upon in the same ways by new coach Brian Flores. Second-year pro Jerome Baker is the new play-caller in Miami's defense, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Safid Deen, and Flores was non-commital about Alonso's future with the team earlier this week. 

Could a trade to the Silver and Black rejuvenate the former second-round draft pick's career? At the very least, it would ensure a return to the Bay Area for Alonso. He starred at Los Gatos High School, leading the Wildcats to the Central Coast Section semifinals as a senior in 2007.

Any move likely will happen quickly. as NFL teams must cut down their rosters to 53 players by 1 p.m. PT on Saturday.

Fueled by ‘bad blood’ with Kap, Alonso delivers for Dolphins

Fueled by ‘bad blood’ with Kap, Alonso delivers for Dolphins

Kiko Alonso turned in a dominant performance against the 49ers in the Dolphins' 31-24 win on Sunday, and afterward revealed an interesting source of motivation.

Alonso, whose father is a Cuban exile, did not appreciate Kaepernick's support -- real or perceived -- of Fidel Castro, who was pronounced dead on Friday, when the 49ers arrived in South Florida to face the Dolphins.

"I didn’t (see what happened in Cuba first-hand), but I do have feelings about it," Alonso told the Miami Herald. "So there was some bad blood there for me with Kaepernick."

The added motivation didn't result in an on-field chatter between the two, though it did impact how Alonso approached the game.

"No, I had nothing to say," Alonso said. "Usually, I just try to play my game. But I did try to hit him."

Alonso intercepted Kaepernick and was in on 12 tackles against the 49ers, none bigger than the one that stopped Kaepernick two yards shy of a potential game-tying score as time expired.

That tackle was memorialized in an Instagram photo that Alonso posted following the win, which included a derogatory comment in Spanish.

Kaepernick was 29-for-46 for 296 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 10 times for 113 yards.