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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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Thinking about this. Last year we this position was one that many would be addressed Via the draft. A lot of folks thought Dan Williams would be our choice, and he may have been had he been around. Nose was a position this defense desperatly needed to become a more effective run stopping unit.

Well Soliai developed into a good option. If you read anything about keys to running a 3-4 defense. All of the contents say Nose tackle is the most important piece. It starts from the middle, and moves to the outside. So now we have solved this piece of the puzzle and there is question about letting him go. The orginization should just think back to last years draft, and the situation this team was facing and do everthing within reason to resign Soliai.

Keep in mind this latest blog of Armandos is pure speculation. He makes it sound like the FO is not paying attention to major issues. It's nothing more than fodder for us microbe bloggers to churn the blog in panic. The reality is they probably have their plan for Solai all mapped out and ready to go.

ALoco,

Had Wilfork been as old as Seymour and Belichick saw the opportunity to gain a 1st rd pick. Wilfork would have been gone.

Lots of d-fans cried about the JT situation but had Bellichick been our HC. The same thing would have happened. I dont think the scenario plays out any differently under a Bellichick.

Soliai's far to young to let walk without at least offering to make him the 5th highest paid NT in the league. As I stated, very good "YOUNG" NT's are far from a dime a dozen in this league.

@ 10:42 Last year this was a position many thought would be addressed via the draft....The first sentence in that post didn't make sense. this is what I meant to write.

President Nixon must resign! These newest revelations in the Watergate affair are scandalous.

"I am not a crook," indeed, Tricky Dick!

Darryl, Dan Williams was around, we passed on him. He didn't go until 26. He also didn't pan out too well his first year, couldn't crack the starting line up, spent it on the bench.

Ox8O, man you have waaayy too much confidence in our FO bro...I wouldn't be able to talk myself into thinking they had the shizzzit together... Just Sayin lol

DD,

When D-fans were blasting Soliai I wasnt amongst them. I kept seeing the light flicker, then those flickers slowly became more and more. Soliai breaking out this season surprised me none at all. It only surprised his major detractors.

IMO Soliai has arrived. He's not a one year wonder. Those flickers have now become a steady light. We cant come with an offer short of making him the 5th highest paid NT in the league. We'll definitely lose him because some one out there will at least make Soliai a %th highest paid NT, if not slightly higher to land him.

You got to also remember, more and more nfl teams are converting to 3-4 and you cant successfully do it without a very good NT. They are extremely valuable because they dont come a dime a dozen.

cowkila...nope, I really don't have way too much confidence in them...they worry me...but I also don't think they are totally retarded either.

Dying..not trying to argue with you here my friend, but, how could you say Ireland and company haven't been awful? Our current group has been just as bad if not worse with drafting and FA. We've been stuck in the mud since about 12 years ago...yes we got BM and KD last year...but two great players out of all that time makes me sick. So in my mind Ireland and crew have been terrible, just like the rest since the Marino era ended...

80, I got ya...they are a bit worse on my tally sheet

If Solai is not with us in 2011, something tells me he will be in the conference championship game.

0x80,

A great NT damn near borders on a great qb. Rarely will you find either via the draft ready to dominate thier 1st year. They have to be developed. For where he was drafted Soliai has developed right on time.

Sometimes our fan base doesnt fully understand these things and immediately want to label a guy a bust. A lot depends on the position a guy plays and the mental-physical makeup of the player himself.

Moisture

0x80...I thought that Williams got scooped up before Odrick. I guess I was wrong. The Phins obviously had confidence in what they saw of Soliai to pass on Williams. He(williams) wasn't even a blip on the radar this year. But neither was BJ Raji his rookie season, and he played a huge roll in the Packers defense. I don't think you are saying Williams was a poor pick(where did he go anyway) 1 year isn't enough to fairly evaluate.

This wasn't my point. It was that we all thought NT was one of the most important position where we needed improvement. We found it, and would be foolish to let it go.


Have you ever smelled the jock of an athlete right after a long hot practice?

I will bet you Soliai's smells rather manly.

Guys, get real! All Armando and the rest of the so called sport journalists can do is guess and surmise, like we can. Collectively I think our guesses are better than theirs....either way the Dolphins are hurting in many areas, the important thing is....can they fix it

DB, one thing most of us bloggers are guilty of to some extent at times, is we expect rookies to be pro-bowlers in their first year and if not they are busts. Misi is a great example. If Wake was getting so many sacks, something tells me Misi was doing something right. But I'm with you, players do take time to develop. The trick is to know which players to give time to develop (Solai, Misi, Wake) and which players not to (Henne, Henne, Henne).

One example I like to use is Cris Carter. He was a very average receiver until year 3 or 4, wasn't until after that he broke out and became outstanding for a long time. Very very few players arrive on the scene on fire from the get go. Marino spoiled us in many ways.


redsky...you are an idiot!!!!!!!!

0x80,

Yes, some positions take a little longer than others. But the main thing you want to look for is the players showing signs. Are the flickers increasing or decreasing?

When the flickers steadily increases its usually a sure sign the light's nearly ready to fully come on. I call it the frequent flicker effect. It also works in reverse to tell when its time to put veteran players out to pasture.

Wonderful, fake 0x80 @ 11:12

Folks, I never call people names, so if you see something offensive or ridiculous, most likely a lonely bored poser.

DB, good way to put it. People on this blog often want to compare Brees first two seasons with Hennes. In Brees I saw that 'flicker' effect. In Henne I never do, ever.

SOLB is a very difficult position to master your 1st season. At this position guys usually dont make that explosion until thier 3rd season. That's why I think Missi did an exceptional 1st year job at the position.

I also think Misi was the only rookie SOLB to start all 16 games this season. I look for Misi to be even better in 2011 then explode at the position in 2012.

0x80,

Ive seen the flicker effect in Henne. But hwat troubles me most is Ive still failed to see the flicker efect in key moments. Henne seems to go totally offline in critical moments.

Even Sanchez shows flickers in key moments. I know that we love to bash Sanchez but at least seeing some flickers in critical moments lets me know Sanchez is the real deal. How far he carries the Jets depends upon what theyre consistently able to put around him. But he is showing signs of being the real deal.

Dying, I agree with you about Misi. He was by far our best rookie.Arguably the best rookie 3-4 olb in the league. He was learning on the fly. Remember in college he didn't play in a 3-4 scheme, he was in a stance, not upright. He had some struggles, but the Phins have to be pleased with his development.

DB,

Stats wise, I believe Henne is cleary better than Sanchez, but Sanchez delivers the end result. I fully expected Henne to blow the doors off Sanchez in the 2010 season, what a let down. I don't want to say Sanchez has that 'IT' factor, because I'm not yet convinced. However, he always rises to the occasion where Henne always sinks to the occasion. So, yeah, Sanchez has a spark, a flicker, that Henne doesn't. Henne is scary, because he can appear so good at times, but its never ever for more than 1 out of every 6 quarters.

Henne flatlines in critical situations and thats not good. This will be the first thing I look for if Henne begins the season as starter in 2011. He has too at least begin to flicker in crucial situations or we can definitely stick a fork in him.

By this I mean wanting to see him begin converting some 3rd and longs. Also converting more 3rd downs from the opponent's 40yd line in. Would also like to see more 3rd down td passes in the redzone from Henne.

Darryl, yeah, Williams got scooped up right before Odrick, but we had already traded down at that point. I don't know if Williams is a bust or not. When you draft a NT in the first round and he doesn't start, not a good sign. I didn't follow it that much, but I think he came in overweight and out of shape and never got it together in his first season. Time will tell.

0x80,

Hate to say it but stats can be very decieving. Sanchez is far superior to Henne than the stats suggests. Jets have stumbled thier way into the playoffs a little because Sanchez is so young. But the real tell-tale sign is the Jets didnt make it all the way to conference championship 2 yrs in a row by accident.

Sanchez is far superior to Henne right now even in the line of thinking that Sanchez did not allow himself to be the reason his team dint make two straight conference championship games. Sanchez also was not the sole reason his team didnt advance to the SB both times neither.

Yup, hate to be a bearer of bad news but Sanchez is "right now" far superior to Henne. I would make a Henne for Sanchez trade in a "New York" minute. No pun intended.

DB,

Yeah, wasn't clear from my post, but I agree with that. Some here love to run down the numbers, the stats, but they don't always tell the whole story. Sanchez has got 'game', he has shown that enough now to know it wasn't just a few lucky plays. I'd take that trade in a heartbeat.

I will admit, pre 2010 season, I fully expected Henne to kick it up a few notches, and for Sanchez to be exposed as a fake. I was wrong on both accounts. Henne regressed far more than I ever could have imagined, and as well, I never would have believed Sanchez would lead them to another AFC championship game. To those who hate me for being critical of Henne, I was really truly behind him. Not anymore.

I would not be happy if we got Logan mankins. Hes so expensive and guard is not one of our biggest priorities, center, runningback, returner, and QB are, pus we need to resign solai, so why would we waste our money on mankins when we already have incognito and jerry, with garner and proctor and mcquistan for depth

Well, I'm checking out for the evening. If my secret admirer comes back again to post as me, it isn't me.

Peace, out...

0x80,

Bob Griese for example. At face value you wouldnt even place him in the conversation as one of the best qb's ever. But actually he is and the hof induction verifies it.

Griese was injured the 72 season and missed like 10 games. Can you imagine being the starter coming back and your team is undefeated and in the playoffs. Can you imagine how awful you would feel after the "backup" did such a great job and you the "starter" came in and made it all for not?

Griese had to be under an insurmountable amount of pressure to come and and not ruin it for everyone. I know he doesnt get any credit for it but for Griese to come back in and lead the team to SB victory under the untold amount of pressure he was under. Has to unquestionably be the single most greatest clutch performance in nfl history.

Again stats could never tell the true story of what an unequalled truely heroic performance it was. Sadly it gets lost in the shuffle of how great the 72 team itself was and its individual stars. Greise could have ruined it all.

You dont believe me ask Tom Brady how easy it is. In 2007 he set the record books afire but fell short when it mattered most. He couldnt carry Griese's jockstrap when it came to duplicating Griese's amazing 72 accomplishment!

DB @11:38..Don't dare say that on the "other blog" you would get verbally sodomized and labelled a spy, or a traitor.

You are absolutley right. What sold me on Snachez was the end of the Wildcard game. He almost lost the game by overthrowing Edwards late in the fourth quarter, giving the ball back to Manning. The Colts took the lead and gave up that big return. Snachez didn't have to move it that far. But this isn't the point. What happened is what seperates Snachez from Henne. He had a kill play where he could switch to a run. This would have been the safe play. But he killed it for the same play he missed on the drive before, and hit Edwards for a HUGE gain, that made a schetchy field goal a chip shot.

Go back a few weeks, and we all remember that Henne was in a similar situation. He had a kill play where he could have thrown, but opted to stay with the run Quote"The run was the safe play" Now many will argue that this was an example of Henne being brainwashed into no making a mistake. Maybe this is true. I don't fully buy it. What it tells me is that Snachez has the ability to put poor play behind him, and make a play when his team needs him to do it. It also tells me that Snachez has the sack to make a play in a pressure situation. Henne has yet to prove he can do this. And that's what seperates the 2 QB's IMO.

DD,

Thats exactly what I was saying in my post to 0x80. Yeah we see flickers from Henne at times. But so far nothing but "flatlines" in critical situations. That isnt good at all.

That's the kind of play you expect from a middle of the pack backup. You dont want to see that from a starting qb at any level in the nfl. My greatest fear is that Henne will only be a middle of the pack "back qb" at best.

On Paul Soliai if the PHINS don't sign him that they really full of crapp the guys has gotten better and better each year unlike Henne........pay the man he is hard to move we don't have that type of player on the roster! I just read the blog on all the bad picks in the past, do they want to continue you that streak? Than pay the man!

What really alarms me too is Henne play seems to only pickup after we get behind. He's barely average when the score is tied and his play decreases as our leads increases.

But what really makes his play increasing when we are behind is that he isnt a great come from behind qb either. If we're to ever win a championship with Henne. No doubts about it we'll have to have a completely lights out D.

We'll all know how slim the chances are of having a D that dominant even for one season are. So there you have it, our chances of winning a championship with Henne at the helm.

No one cares and
The radio show Sucks
Period

have a HARRPy day :(

LET HIM GO..IN MIAMI NO NEED HIM..NO OVERPAY IRELAND..ROSS AND BUNCH OF LOSERS!!

We will see. There are decent odds Henne starts next year. If he does he will have little room for error. That is a ton of pressure. If he can pass that test it will do a lot for his future.

Im sure we make every effort to resign Soliai. Odrick now has to win the left end spot from Starks. We all know now because of the brief injury history here Odricks isnt a given. Even further reason the fo will make evry effort to resign Soliai.

The Jest are coming!... The Jests Are Coming!.... JEEEEEEzus Armando... Your a friggin broken record Dude.

Home....It's been awhile. Where have you been?

DD,

Henne again starts by default. However he will only be a bridge into the future for a young qb. I dont know what round we go after qb. But I'm sure we will.

Remember, we dont have stability at backup behind Henne either. So a qb during the draft is a given. Its only a matter of who and where we draft him. There will be no if's and maybe's when it comes to drafting a young qb this season.

Henne playing a little better this season only affords more time for whomever the drafted young qb is. Henne will have to make a HUGE leap in production this season to change the thoughtline of him being a "bridge" qb.

0x80, you're an uneducated fool, you call me an idiot? You don't even know me. So if I'm am idiot, you're a moron. I have never called you names, even though your posts are lacking at times. Why should you insult me? What, you're a bully? By calling me nemes I'm going to go hide! Think you're better than anyone else. Well, you're mistaken, I'll meet you anytime and explain in person...

Redsky,

0x80 didnt do that. If you'll read underneath he said someone impostered him and he appologized.

You know we've all had imposters make negative posts to start s*hit in the blog. 0x80 already clarified he didnt make that post.

Or maybe this isnt the real redsky, but the same imposter making another cloaked post to start s*hit.

agreed Soliai then Brown should be the priority for free agents this year. You can't rebuild by letting go of your most productive players. Pay them both they both deserve to be Dolphins

Dyingbreed you right I like the bridge QB, and that's Henne for now I remember Parcells saying to other close friends that he was disappointed in Henne, I believe TS bench him because he thought Pennington was ready to come back and take his job back, but it was not meant to be! I think TS isn't that stupid to just give the job to Henne but to bring a VET. to at least compete for the starting job! Who might that be dont know I just have a wish list that will never come true. But we need to hit on our F/A to
Solidify the QB OL RB than hope to hit on the draft at least four to five future starters, you can't get that lucky and hit on all the draft picks......but consider the source good luck Miami!

You "sign Soliai to a top 5 contract" guys are a joke. You are probably the same folks who screamed 'sign Haynesworth' to a "billion" dollar contract when he was a free agent. I am sure Washington is overjoyed they overpaid for the BEST NT in football. He was dominant for several years and look what happened after a big payday. Now you scream "sign our one year wonder" to a top 5 contact - a one year wonder who didn't even merit consideration for the Pro Bowl. You guys are real geniuses.

No DB it was me responding to 0x80, my apologies to all on the post....none of us knows it all, I can't stand it when someone tries to bully another person by calling them names. Right or wrong, we are all entitled to our opinions! So if anyone is cowardly enough to use anyone's name, identify yourself....we can meet and discuss our differences, in a most amicable manner, in person! Thanks DB!

Beerphin...Where is the value in Re-signing Ronnie Brown? We need to get younger and faster at running back. I think all of Browns injuries have taken a toll on him. It was that or he wasn't 100 percent recovered from his foot injury. But how many years do you think he has left? And is it worth passing on a prospect with some upside just to give Brown some carries? He may end up somewhere else next year, and he may even be somewhat productive. But I think this is the time to say goodbye to Brown, and Bong Pipe as well.

Hey folks,

As a young, huge, strong player coming off a really good season they can't afford to lt Solai skate. I believe he will be retained.

FA's are a crapshoot even if they have done X, Y, n Z for anther team doesn't mean they can't come in and lay and egg with a new team and scheme.

Because the Bifecta are fascinated with "size" and believe in BPs "Planet Theory" which simply states there are only so many big men on the planet that can move like that with power and such heft. Ireland will keep Solai.

They may draft another biggun' as a groomer as there are a few 320-340lbs DTs coming out this year.

As for going out on a limb I will venture a guess to say that there will be at least 5 rookie RBs that out perform Ingram next year. I am not going to call him the next Emmitt Smith or even the next Emmitt Smurf. He is more of a plowhorse type RB and benefitted from great players around him. I am certainly not going to make him the next Emmitt Smith.

Cheers,

Darryl, I agree, I think Ronnie will be a fine back up somewhere, so will bong pipe boy, but we need fresh legs....Ingram if available at 15, I'm not impressed by this class of QBs. If someone is available after a good RB, then fine

Hey marinowoodhead how in the hell you think he would be like haysworth are you a fortune teller or predicts the future that's the problem with this team. Remember Wes welker and other players we lost to free agents and produce else where sign the man he is a good player and the only thing he has to do is collaps the middle and don't be push off the line that's all so no you wrong bra!

I dont think Brown's a feature back unless you have a dominat oline consistently opening holes. Hell, if we had that Hilliard could run for 1500yds and be our new feature back.

Thats why I dont see Brown high on the priority list but if he agrees to a steal deal. Hell yeah lets keep him. I dont see anyone offering huge money for Brown.

There really isnt a rb on our entire roster thats not expendable. I even think its time for Hilliard and Cobbs to either catch a fish or cut bait. Even if draft a couple rb's I think we should bring 7-8 rbs into camp and last men standing get the jobs regardless of longevity with the team.

I dont care if bringing more backs to camp means less reps for everyone. Whomever looks the best in those limited amount of reps wins those few jobs. To me that's guys responding great under pressure.

That's exactly what we're looking for!

Give a guy too many reps at his disposal and he thinks he has greater margin for error. Im all for putting the greatest amount of fire under his a*ss from the geddy-yup!

Thats how you find a pressure performer.

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