Dolphins get more physical in the front seven with Lawrence Timmons

Linebacker was Miami's biggest offseason need before signing Lawrence Timmons. Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire

The Miami Dolphins agreed to terms with free-agent linebacker Lawrence Timmons on Friday. Timmons met with the team, and Miami didn’t let him leave without a contract.

Terms: Two years, $12 million

ESPN 150 rank: 33

Grade: B-plus. This is a sneaky-good signing for Miami. Linebacker was the team’s biggest need, and the Dolphins needed to fill two holes. They likely had to deal with one via free agency, which explains the Timmons signing, and they could fill the second early in next month’s NFL draft. Timmons is the physical presence needed in the middle of Miami’s defense, which ranked 30th against the run last season.

What it means: Timmons will cause a shift for Miami’s linebackers. Last season's leading tackler, Kiko Alonso, is now expected to move outside while Timmons plays his natural position at middle linebacker. This should make Miami’s defense more stout against the run, as the smallish Alonso was often pushed around.

What’s the risk: This is a low-risk signing for Miami. Timmons is only under contract for two years at an average of $6 million per season. The Dolphins still need to get younger and more athletic at the position, but that likely will happen in the draft.