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Dolphins own free agent priority? Paul Soliai

Much of the unrestricted free agent focus surrounding the Dolphins' own players has centered around the offensive backfield in general and running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in particular.

I would tell you that is probably not the place the Dolphins should be placing their priority.

I would tell you the priority should be on defense. Right in the middle of all the action. At nose tackle.

Paul Soliai.

Soliai, drafted in 2007, is expected to hit free agency once the players' union and the NFL get their act together and agree on a collective bargaining agreement. He will not re-sign with Miami before a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, according to a league source, because he wants to maximize his earning potential and the 30 percent rule makes it hard to do that until after his current contract expires and he becomes a free agent.

So the Dolphins have "zero," chance of re-signing Soliai before he hits free agency, the source close to the player said Tuesday.

What does that mean?

It means the biggest body on the Miami defensive line, the player who started 14 games at nose tackle for Miami last year, will hit free agency assuming the league does not establish a lull period during which current teams have exclusive rights to negotiate with their own players.

I am told if Soliai hits the open market, it will be a free-for-all. He wants to remain with the Dolphins. But he wants to get paid. And there will be interest because there always is for a 355 pound defensive lineman that has proven he can play.

In talks between the Dolphins and agent David Canter, I am told by my source, the Dolphins are being cautious. Canter could not be reached for comment, but I'll keep trying. He is, after all, a weekly contributor on my radio show Armando and the Amigo.

I can understand why no deal has been reached yet. Soliai played better than he has at any time in his career in 2010 so he wants to be rewarded. The Dolphins are almost certainly guarding themselves against Soliai being a one-year wonder because he's been a reserve his previous three seasons.

Thus we have a gap that needs to be bridged.

Soliai was very good last year, tying Kendall Langford for the lead in solo tackles among defensive linemen with 33. He also led all defensive linemen with eight tackles for losses with eight. Bottom line, when the Dolphins lost defensive end Jared Odrick after the regular-season opener and needed to move Randy Starks from nose tackle back to defensive end, Soliai's play made that possible.

I imagine the Dolphins could retry the Starks at nose tackle experiment, but the bottom line is Soliai was more productive than any starting nose tackle the Dolphins have had under their current administration. So they should do everything possible to keep from losing that kind of talent.

There is also an inherent risk for the Dolphins in being overly cautious with Soliai. Unless they get that lull period, they could risk losing him to another team. And the New York Jets could be in the market for a starting nose tackle.

Just saying.

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Moisture

Soliai played well in a contract year. That's how free agents to be get paid. If he would have had a Ronnie Brownesc(made that up myself)sort of year then he could suck it. But he was a good player. Remember we still have Randy Starks, and hopefully Odrick next year. So Soliai may get some Caaash but it may not be with the Dolphins.

The Dolphins are cautious, the Dolphins are this, the Dolphins are that. The Dolphins will loose the best NT, Soliai, they've had in some yrs not to mention he's still young. Just give him to the JETS and be done with it. What else would come from the The Dolphins ?

Let me guess, Ireland will trade Soliai to the Jets to recoup a second round pick and then use that second round pick to give to the 49ers for Ted Ginn Jr.

So the light suddenly went off for Soliai in the 4th year (contract year)? For 3 years he's known for mediocrity and in a contract year he becomes dominant. No wonder the fins are being cautious! There is a real chance he reverts to the form he had in years 1-3 as soon as the ink dries on the new contract. They might be better off drafting another guy and let someone else over pay for what might be a one year wonder.

If the last decade has proven anything, it's that the Dolphins front office is clueless when it comes to making sound personnel decisions. They'll probably screw this up, too.

Good thing we signed Fasano to a $7m+ extension instead of Soliai. And good thing we gave Penny a $2m bonus for playing for 38 seconds.

For a second there I thought Paul Soliai would remain a Dolphin. WHEW!

Wow. Why is every blog about this team has some form of doom and gloom. I am sick and tired of all the negative crap that is written about this team. Now, I know that one of the reasons is because this team played poorly this year. But, is it really that bad. Come On!

This is a guy the Dolphins have suspended numerous times for being overweight, lazy and for conduct problems. We stuck with him for 4 years, 1 of which was productive, and now he wants to break the bank and test the market? I say let him go. We already have plenty of big bodies, and if there is one thing this administration has done right it's finding productive d-linemen. C-ya Soliai


"There is also an inherent risk for the Dolphins in being overly cautious with Soliai. Unless they get that lull period, they could risk losing him to another team. And the New York Jets could be in the market for a starting nose tackle."

I thought for a moment there Mando would not be doing his usual "hand wringing " , fat chance !

I'm sure Jeff Ireland greatly appreciates Armandos advice on what his top priority should be. Let's see, should we worry first about signing an aging RB on his last legs, or an up and coming strong young NT. Let's think about that. Ah, Armando cleared things up perfectly.

Starks is a better DE than NT, the line played much better once he moved back to DE. They need an NT. Sure Solai is going to test the market, its business, who wouldn't? Thats precisely what agents are for. Fins will keep him.

Give every cent of that Will Allen money to Paul. He anchors that line, and lends some serious identity to our 6th ranked D.

Soliai is a keeper, which means the Dolphins will give him away to the Jets....

Soliai to stay

Lol at 0x80. Hilarious

Oh, I get it. Armando can't reach the agent who does spots on his own show, yet still carries water for him on the blog.

Well done. Why even have the agent exert pressure on the media when this blog is glad to do it for him -- without even getting comment in return!

Preposterous.

and on it goes..................

TODD DOUG,

ARE YOU QUESTIONING ARMANDO'S INTEGRITY ??

0X80,

are you questioning IRELAND'S FOOTBALL IQ ?
ARE YOU SAYING THEY WILL SPEND THE WHOLE SUMMER CHASING OLD WASHED MEN LIKE R.WILLIAMS AND R.BROWN ?

I'm going to have to agree with several others. We've seen several players who have layed down after a new contract. But considering the options, pay him.

SOLAI MUST BE SMART AND OPEN HIS EYES AND EARS WHEN IT COMES TO MONEY.DON'T EVER FORGET THAT IRELAND SIGNED HENNE FOR 600,000 DOLLARS .

GIVE SOME OF MARSHALL'S MONEY TO SOLAI

The old men shall gather at the river to wash their rabbits.

Shirley Booth (who played TV's "Hazel" the maid in the 1960s) will appear in the sky riding a camel naked.

You will obey cheese.

Soliai can't be traded unless he is under contract, he is a free agent.

Aloco, I'm saying it's a bit absurd that Armando is telling Ireland what his priorities should be. Think about that. Also his first sentence, he has no idea where Ireland's focus is. He is just making assumptions. You can't believe everything you read just because it's in print. It pays to think about what you are reading.

OX80,

RIGHT ON .BTW, WHAT HAPPENED TO NYSCOTT TODAY ,HE SIGNED OFF AND LEFT ?

NOW WE R LEFT WITH THE UNEDUCATED FANS LIKE OSCAR AND 2WATT .

lines i hate....


1- you don't believe me ?
2- i hear you ,brother.
3-i was right before the season started when i said we will end 7-9.

armando was wrong on a lot of things about this team .it's about 80 percent wrong and to give advice to ireland is like me giving an english lesson to DB .

Soliai DEF needs to be re-signed...He was a force, easily the most improved player last season.

Soliai's success is a direct result of Mike Nolans coaching, i dont think he was a 1 year wonder. Nolan put him a in a position to thrive and he can only get better

My girlfriend was upset with me for something stupid I did, so I was going down on her real nice to make up. Then she burned a mean one right in my face. It was an awkward moment and now she is all embarrassed about it. Not sure if she forgives me or I forgive her at this point.

I believe the NFL norm for WR is 3 to 4 yrs to develop into something special. I don't know the norm for a NT. Perhaps Nolan did have something to do with his progress. We need to keep him none the less. I don't think the FA or draft has a replacement so we need to take the risk. I don't think he's an elite money player so if some team is willing to give him Wilfork(Patriots) type of money...let him go. If memory serves; he's a RFA...so don't we get some type of compensation? Let me know.

If Dolphins "miraculously" were able to sign Logan Mankins. I believe part of the price we pay would be letting Soliai walk. Especially if by double-miracle we were able to sign fa TE Zach Miller to boot. There jus isnt enough room to give huge paydays to 3 big fa's.

Consider Marshall-Dansby just recieved huge paydays too. Also to have or not have a rookie pay scale readjustment is hidden in the thick veil of smoke of what is an unknown new CBA.

There are just far too many unknowns to accurately dictate what the uncertaincies of 2011 brings. Soliai may want to remain a Dolphin but all of the surrounding uncertaincies could make it hugely impossible.

Those who say he's a 1 year wonder are missing the fact that he has been steadily getting better for the better part of the past couple of years.

Nose Tackles can be like QB's in that they often take a few years to develop, especially when the dedication hasn't always been what it should be.

But most accounts are pointing to the light finally having gone on for Paul. And if he continues progressing in a different uniform, most of the same people who think he's a one year wonder will probably be on this board ready to tar and feather Ireland.

Once the light finally comes on for an nfl NT he's pretty much arrived at eliteness. Its just like learning to ride a bike. The periods of falling off become fewer and once you learn to stay on you dont regress to falling off again.

Some even become skilled enough to do it on one wheel. Though its great its not required. What we witnessed last season was Soliai finally learning to stay on the bike. Barring tradgic accident I dont expect to see him regress again anytime soon. PAY THE DAMN MAN!

DB,

NICE POST @ 9;35.YOU REALLY GIVE US A WIDER PICTURE OF THE PLAYERS .

Ace From Texas | February 08, 2011 at 07:02 PM

YES!!!! it IS really that bad. And BTW we have 2 back to back losing seasons at 7-9 and an upcoming decade of losing seasons as long as we have Mr FG Sparano or no guts Sparano or I'm scared to call a play Sparano... And as long as we have a GM and a brain dead millionaire owner ROSS. We will lose.

Just look at the contract extensions ROSS REWARDED Sparano and Ireland for back to back losing seasons...

Need I say anymore?

NT's are like qb's. Once you get a good one hold onto him at all cost. Very good qb's are not a dime a dozen in this league and neither are very good nt's! PAY THE DAMN MAN!

DB,

HOW MUCH MONEY YOU THINK IS REQUIRED TO SIGN SOLAI ?

I HOPE IRELAND READS DB POSTS RE SOLAI .

Can't see letting Solai go to get Logan. What good is it to be without a solid NT? Starks is not the answer at NT. I'd rather add to the team, not swap one major need for another major need.

ROSS is broke... After all he broke the bank when Sparano's son Tony Jr was hired as The Dolphins "offensive quality control coach"

Yes... Offensive Quality Control Coach folks...

So we cant sign Solia... Sorry..

Cautious,, That is the word i've been hearing for far too long. The reason for mediocrity all these years the dolphins are unwilling to pay big money for the current productive players they have soliai is one of those guys. To become competitive you must have core group of players that u can rely on not a revolving door of players to plug in. Loyalty is dead in the NFL it isn't like the old days. Work to keep these players.

THE DOLPHINS NEXT YEAR THEY WILL BE CHEAP,MEAN AND NO 14 AT MONEYY SPENT AROUND THE LEAGUE AT ONLY 78 MILLLION DOLLARS .

ALoco,

Without research I cant say what Wilfork got. But It may take slightless less to get him under contract.

Still it's very uncertain. Just like I said, a very good nt is like a very good qb. Once you get one you keep him. How much Soliai ultimately gets is predicated on what the market says a rare very good nt with one foot already in the door of eliteness is worth.

I do guarantee one thing, keeping Soliai wont come "cheap" by all means. There are 31 other teams that know it not very come that you come into a very good NT. Soliai is now very good at his job to say the least.

I'm sure they will treat Solia just like they did JT. Tell him that they will make the decision AFTER the Draft is over.

0x80,

Totally agree with your 09:46 post. What the fo should do is begin the bargaining by offering no less than to make him a top 5 paid league NT. Any less may make him feel insulted and ruin all chances to resign him.

Im pretty sure whomever signs him(hoping its us) the offer has make him a top 5 NT based on current top 5 NT salaries. I would at least offer to make him the #5 paid NT with a 4yr contract with the 4th year optional for both sides.

Then carefully explain to him what's essentially a 3yr contract sets him up for a bigger payday right in the prime of his career. You would also pad that contract with huge performance bonuses taht are at least humanly attainable.

NYG,

Make him wait until the draft's over? @ major things wrong with that statement:

1. With no cba in place everyone waits until the draft is over.

2. They are not looking to draft a NT nor are we talking about an athlete on the downside of his career.


I do guarantee one thing, keeping Soliai wont come "cheap" by all means. There are 31 other teams that know it not very come that you come into a very good NT. Soliai is now very good at his job to say the least.

Posted by: DyingBreed | February 08, 2011 at 09:53 PM


Correction:

I do guarantee one thing, keeping Soliai wont come "cheap" by all means. There are 31 other teams that knows it isnt very often that you come into a very good young NT. Soliai is now one of the few who are very good at his job to say the least.

I wouldn't make him the top 5 paid NT in the league, but definitely the top 10... he still owe us a couple of years from all those times he was suspended for being immature. But whatever the contract is, I hope is full of incentives, no guarantees... If he's a true Fin, he'll stick around and sing a decent contract; not a lucrative contract with some other team...

The SB marks the end of the "real" sports season for football fans. Im not very excited about college basketball until about the final eight.

Pro basketball only excites me when the top 4 teams are pitted against eachother in season. Then not again until playoffs and championship time.

Baseball, 162gms, totally meaningless until the late season penant dogfight or Yankees Red Sox marquee matchups. But only if both teams are very good at the time. Dont really much care for world series without Yankees or Red Sox headlining the even. With the occassional exception being a Florida team making the big dance.

We're now back to the same old familiar place of "What's A Football Junkie To Do Now?" LOL............

DB,

I LEARNED SOME THING TONIGHT THAT ONCE YOU HAVE A VERY GOOD NT ,YOU MUST KEEP HIM LIKE YOU KEEP A VERY GOOD QB .

DyingBreed

I was just portraying the thinking of the regime.. Also, nothing from nothing... you never know who or what these clowns will draft. perhaps a NT? Who knows..

After all.. Pat White anyone???

I really can't see them dropping the ball on Solai. I can forgive them for bad draft picks, happens to everyone. But this team is in no position to let a solid young NT get away. The cost of letting him go will be far greater than the cost of keeping him. Now if they have some scheme to bring in a FA replacement of the same caliber, fine. But to let him walk otherwise would be simply a failure on the part of this FO. For all my slamming on them, I refuse to believe they are that incompetent. And if they are, we have much bigger problems to worry about.

NOW, SOLAI CAN BUY A HOUSE IN FLORIDA FOR LITTLE MONEY AND LEAVR THE CONDO LIFE BEHIND .

Moisture.

dfins006,

Thats the exact kind of bargaining "inexperience" that would cost us to lose Soliai. You cant go into a negotiation of any type telling the opposition "You OWE Me." Not unless you purposely want the negotiations to come to grinding halt right from the very start.

Its like you go into your bosses office to ask for raise. Because you've gotten very good at your job that you do. Then he tells you no because you owe the company for the time and money they put into training you.

When this happens you'll probably begin seeking the same position at another company that will pay you what market value will bring you now. At Soliai's young age I almost guarrantee someone will at least make him as high as the #5 nt in the league.

So it would be very wise for the fo to begin negotiations there. Then if someone offers to make him top 2-3 paid nfl NT, let them overpay! But you have made a very fair and none insulting offer.

ALoco,

You noticed Bellichik didnt let Wilfork get away!

DB,

THEY GOT READY OF SEYMORE BUT NOT WILFORK ,I NEVER KNEW HOW IMPORTANT THAT SPOT IS .

DO YOU THINK IRELAND KNOWS ALL THESE FACTS ABOUT KEEPING SOLAI ON THE TEAM ? OR HE JUST SITTING IN HIS OFFICE DRINKING AND EATING .

NYG,

All regimes make mistakes. But like I always say, this regime hasnt been any more or less good or bad as the other 31 nfl gm's. Thier most glaring deficiency has come in free agency signings. But Marshall and Dansby sort of atones for that.

Ireland has made mistakes, but you have to remember its his first gm gig and he's undergoing growing pains too. For a total green horn he hasnt been catastrophically awful. Hell, he has been even better than some of the so-called experience gm's that have come thru here.

Mueller for example makes Ireland look like the pope of Miami football. Though at times it still looks like a clusterf*uck, slowly we're getting better than at any time during the post Shula era. Just not quite as fast as we would all like. But progress nonetheless.

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