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Franchise, transition tags out today but not for Dolphins

NFL teams can begin applying franchise and transition tags to their most valued projected unrestricted free agents starting today (Feb. 10) and that is notable to the Dolphins and you only because of my post yesterday about Paul Soliai.

Following that post, several of you e-mailed me suggesting the Dolphins use either the franchise or transition tag on Soliai to keep him locked to the Dolphins in 2011.

Um, not likely.

First, it must be said that franchise and transition numbers have not been officially released by the NFL. Secondly, the NFL players' union has vowed to take the NFL to court over the placing of the tags without a new collective bargaining agreement being in place. Finally, the idea doesn't make much financial sense.

The franchise tag, you must remember, is valued at the average of the top five salaries for players at that position. The transition tag is valued at the average of the top 10 salaries for players at that position.

For a NT/DT which is where Soliai falls, the projections for either tag are staggering. According to the good work of Brian McIntyre at Mac's Football Blog, the projected franchise tag tender in 2011 will be a whopping $12.3 million. The projected transition tag tender will be a whopper junior $9.4 million.

There is no way on earth the Dolphins will guarantee Paul Soliai that amount for one year.

There is no way, by the way, the Dolphins will guarantee any of their unrestricted free agents that kind of money. Thus you can be relatively certain the Miami Dolphins will not use either their franchise or transition tags in 2011 unless the rules or projections change somehow.

Why, you might wonder, would it cost so much to tag a defensive tackle that much in 2011 when the franchise tag number in 2010 was $7 million and the tranisition number was $6.35 million?

Blame Albert Haynesworth, who skewed the averages when his 2010 salary was $24 million.

Simply, the Dolphins aren't in make-Paul-Soliai-instantly-rich mode this offseason. They want to re-sign him. They've made him a couple of offers. None were exceedingly impressive to Soliai. None are said to have been worth even half of what a projected 2011 franchise or transition numbers might be worth.

So why would the team use either tag on him?

Oh, by the way, there is at least one nose tackle in this league worthy of a franchise tag -- Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens. He'll very possibly get tagged and will not be on the market when/if it opens following a resolution of the labor dispute.

What does that mean?

Good news for Soliai because that's one less NT teams will have the opportunity to sign, thus increasing his value. This kind of reminds me of the year the Dolphins had to pay Vernon Carey.

They didn't love the player. But there were really no other choices in free agency and the team wanted to address other issues in the draft. So they paid Carey. And he's been inconsistent since.

I get the feeling that is where we may end up with Soliai.

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Actually Kory Sheets is the wild card here. We have no idea how good he is. Not sure what the update to his injury is either. He's a speedster. But if they feel he can be a starter, that might be even more reason to skip a RB first round. Although, as far as last year went, their plan seemed to be more to use him as a returner. New OC, and now Tony S. Jr. on the team, so maybe they will consider him as a starting RB. I just know that anytime I see Patrick Cobbs at RB, we have serious issues.

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0x80, you're right, and I always forget him. Sheets might be serviceable as a speed back. Don't remember how promising he looked, but that's another RB that can be plugged in if need be.

We should sign him but place weight provisions...if he says "no" then let him walk because he is essentially saying I want to get paid and be a fat slob again.

Craig M

Last year was an uncapped year. I would be shocked if the new CBA didn't take that into account when calculating tags. Wouldn't you? The team was able to pay the bulk of his contract last year, you really think the owners are going to allow contracts like that into inflating franchise tags for years to come? Doubt it. Not with a new cap in place...

You guys may want to check out an article espn has running on Chad Henne.

It's in the AFC EAST Blog section.

Nice comparison between Barber and Ingram - problem is Barber was a 4th round pick.

DD, after reading your post earlier, I was surprised to see Forcier committing to the U. I can see why he did it though. Miami will give him a very good o line and they always have decent skilled position players. one question I have though is - does he have to sit out in 2011?

Another thing, anyone not seeing that Soliai not being one of the best NTs in the league is simply being delusional. He shuts things down and throws around interior o line pro bowlers. No, Starks would not have done as good a job and no Ferguson was not even as good in a Dolphins uniform as Soliai was last year. Pay the man.

NFL talks break down. Marcellus Wiley on ESPN says he doesn't expect any agreement until beginning of 2011 season.

There is not going to be any free-agency this year.

Mark.....i don't think anybody said that Soliai hasn't had a break out year....not not the question....

I think the question is how dedicated is he to his craft?

is he worth the the Millions of Dollars it will take to keep him....or will he take the money and turn back inti old Paul? the one nobody trusted for thepast 3 years....

The one who only started due to default...and lost oppertunity to compete for the STARTING JOB on DRAFT DAY....when Starks...the STARTING DE....was namesd the starting NT...without any competition....

When you factor those things in....I think you can see how the FO would be hesitant to give him big money....

Also good point on the "Barbarion" being a th round pick.....

I just think the FO should take the guy they want...the guy who helps them win DAY 1 (if its not a QB) regardless of what round he is projected to go in.....

The Barbarion slipped...he was a gem if you will.....

Why wait and hope to get a gem...when you can get the sure fire Diamond....in RD 1.....

Mark, GREAT POINT!

That's what I just don't get. How people say you don't need 1st-rd QB talent necessarily to win when most of the evidence in the last few years says otherwise. And then at the same time they (those that believe both these things) say grab this 1st-rd RB even though ALL the evidence suggests that position has talent ALL THROUGH most drafts (including this one). AND I haven't heard Ingram compared to ANY of the 1st-rd backs from years past. It's one thing if the expert opinion was Ingram was head-and-shoulders above everyone else. But I don't hear that. I hear he's good, he's probably the best "rated", but I don't hear the superlatives you'd want to hear in order to draft him 1st-rd.

I think the horrible drafting by Miami in the past decade+ is seeping into fans' heads.

Moisture

DC, right on. QB scouting has evolved so much in the last 10-15 that can anyone name me more than 4-5 late round picks who are serviceable QBs in this league. Sure there is Brady, Schaub, and Cassel, but other than that - not much out there right now. The vast majority of QBs in this league were 1st round picks. If there isn't a 1st round QB that's any good, then just don't draft one at all. Spending any other pick on a QB is just wasting a pick - might as well just shout "pass" when it's your turn to draft. THE LAST THING I WANT IS FOR THIS FRANCHISE TO SELL ME ON SOME LATE ROUND DRAFT PICK BEING A GOOD ENOUGH QB TO LEAD THIS TEAM TO THE PLAYOFFS AND BEYOND. It just will not happen.

I have a very knowledgeable football friend who is willing to bet me that Mark Ingram wasn't even the best running back on the Alabama team last year. He was also an undeserving Heisman trophy winner. Toby Gerhart outperformed him in every way imaginable that year. Yet, someone "had to" break the Alabama heisman drought so he got some nods based on the school he went to and not on his play.

Will he be a good pro - probably - is he a franchise player? I don't think so. I wouldn't even bet a dollar that he becomes the best RB from this draft class.

Solia's solid, but nothing special.

"I think the horrible drafting by Miami in the past decade+ is seeping into fans' heads".

DC Dofan

Of course its affecting me DC...i'm all panicky....and i'm not joking.....

and i'm on record on this blog as saying I have FAITH in Ireland.....Soooo......yes.....horrible drafting in the past....coupled with no 2nd rd...and I hate the idea of trasding back....for me...= a FO that has 1 chance in 80 picks to get it right....so lets get it right

trent dilfer thinkg cam newtons work out session today was phenomenal. So he'll probably be gone by the time we get to pick

Dam....thats horrible news Boulder....I hope they do what it takes to trade up and get the man THEY WANT.....

Moisture

dishpan....isn't that Petrograd's thing....^^^^^

No disrespect to ESPN, but did they see Henne play Dishpan? Those stats regarding INT's that were stopes was meaningless. The fact is they dropped them, so no INT. Henne is no Sanchez and I hate the Jets!!!

still need a qb.

Moisture

Who cares if Henne was the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 31st best QB. Did he make the throws? Did he make the offense run? Did he help get his team to a Playoff?

Those are the questions I ask of my QB, not how good is he compared to others.

Also, this isn't a knock on Henne post, this is a knock on the idiot whose ratings QBs in the AFC East from espn. That's a meaningless conversation if you ask me. If Henne makes NO throws and the team gets in the Playoffs, then he's the best QB in the World to me.

Good article as dude posted on ESPN:

The highlight "Sanchez's numbers, for instance, were buoyed by dropped interceptions. Football Outsiders charted 15 of them for Sanchez, a figure that easily led the NFL.

Henne threw 19 interceptions and had only one dropped."

Oh, and PAY SOLIAI...NT's don't grow on trees. The last half of the season he was completely dominant!

I recall calling his name out several times in one game alone!

He was blowing up RB's 5 yds behind the LOS...

Haven't seen the espn thing, but Henne is a tough guy to grade given then coaching/playcalling issue. Of course, he, himself, may have been the problem.

Mark in Toronto,

I have to strongly disagree with you about Soliai. How does paying a nose tackle $12 million a year fit in with the team's pay structure. Where's the money coming from to buy the other guys on the team? I like Soliai. I would even go as far to say he's our best option at NT. But he's not the only answer at NT. If he gets greedy on this whole thing you let him walk. Good things can be accomplished with Starks at NT and others playing DT. No way is Soliai worth $12 million a year and if he wants to be stupid about it then let a team like the Raiders overpay for him.

I'll put it another way.....would Bill Belichik pay Paul Soliai $12 million a year to be his nose tackle? Not a chance! He'd let him walk and find another solution. We have that solution already on the team. If our goal is to follow in the footsteps of the Patriots or Ravens we need to get away from making STUPID mistakes. Giving Soliai $12 million a year, despite his good play over 14 games, is a STUPID move.

Mark/Craig, I don't see Soliai getting "greedy." Yes, he wants more money (who doesn't), but I think he understands he was a backup that played better 1 year. He is no Wilfork, Ngata, and hopefully he recognizes that.

Not sure what he makes now (probably not a lot) and that's what I think all this is stemming from. He probably wants a respectable salary 4-6mil/yr, and I think he probably warrants that.

My take is we're 19 on player salaries. And no other team lower than us that made the Playoffs. So, we have to either get more guys on the team that have higher salaries (meaning better caliber players), or pay guys who are deserving more to ensure they remain committed and at their highest level.

I've heard for years that Miami underpays their players (comparatively) and that's good up to a point. It's good to stay under the cap and save money for other things, but I think the thinking goes if you pay a player well, they'll play well for you (at least until Dan Snyder got to DC). The teams that made the Playoffs showed that.

So I don't know if we just don't have talent here to pay players, or if we don't want to pay the talented players we have, but I'd like more money going to the players, that's just my take.

DC,

I like Soliai and I have no problem with the team paying the guy. He earned it and did a great job for the team last year. But I'm not in favour of just giving him what he wants. To do that is no different than throwing money around on guys like Smiley and Groves etc and we all took these guys to task for moves like that. I would think in the $4-6 million range would be FMV for the guy. I don't know anything about the guy personality wise and I don't know if we try and cash in on his successful season last year. As a couple of guys said, 'NT's don't grow on trees'. I'm all for bringing him back but not at $12 million a year. Let someone else make that kind of mistake on the guy. If he's willing to be reasonable about things I would have no problem with $4-6 million a year.

Not sure I would think of the Dolphins as being cheap with their players. Seems to me we've handed out realtively big contracts to guys like Groves, Smiley, Marshall and Dansby. We also paid Crowder and Carey decent money when it was their time. I realize we are middle of the pack when it comes to payroll but I think that's more a reflection of our talen base and the number of draft busts we have had. I think if we had more of our higher end players still on the roster we would have a higher payroll. Due to some of these guys failing, we'e added 'acorns' through FA and street pickups.

Hey what's up fellas?

I would like to keep Soliai he finally showed he had some game in his 355 lb body. However in all sports I have seen it too many times when big bodies find themselves in contract years. I guess players don't condition themselves and get motivated until they realize money is on the table. I wouldn't throw a franchise tag on any of Miami's current free agents. I would like to see Soliai resigned as well as Tony McDaniel outside of that I don't want anyone back particularly any of the backfield. Ronnie is such a disappointment. All he would do is cut into a rookie or free agent RB's carries like he did with Ricky the last few years. Ricky would have been far more productive with more carries. He was clearly the better RB unfortunately the incompetant, indecisive Tony Sparano couldn't see that or didn't want to.

fake aloco @ 3:25.lol

I see where Trent Dilfer today said that Cam Newton's workout today was 'phenomenal'. I guess we'll have to listen to all the 'the Dolphins need to after Newton' crap now. It will be interesting to see if he's still there at 15. I could see the Cardinal, 49ers, Titans and Vikings having interst in him before he reaches us.

The report is that SIX teams have him as their top prospect. You wonder about the validity of some of these claims.

Craig M,

I am on the Cam Newton band wagon. To get that kind of talent at #15 is worth the gamble. He is far more along as a passer then either V. Young or T. Tebow. He also is far more athletic and fast then both IMO. Miami's solid talent approach has made them what they are a mediocre team with average NFL talent. They need to add a dynamic college player at some point and hope that it works out for them. Drafting a QB at #15 and it not working out won't set a franchise back like it would if they were a top 10 selection.

With all that being said I don't think Newton makes it to #15. He will be gone in the top 10. That team may not even currently be in the top 10 but will trade up and have the balls to go with the TALENT level of Newton. Miami who knows what they will do but after the last 2 disappointing drafts which netted them a good but not great Vontae Davis and pretty much nothing else. And last years Odrick who has a history of leg injuries and is 300 lbs which can't be a good combo and that bum Misi who does nothing special. He isn't a pass rusher and can't stop the run at all. Where do they go? Why not go BIG and BOLD and go after Cam Newton.

Moisture

Just read over some of the posts and I have to agree with DC about Ingram. A 1st round RB is just poor value.

The FA class is a much better route and a good speed RB can be found in later rounds. Perhaps Sheets could work too.

The much harder to fix problem areas are O-line, a quality WR, NT and dare I say it QB.

I've been wanting to see Julio Jones at 15 to add a dynamic punch to the offense, though now he appears to be getting drafted prior.

I'd be happy with nabbing the top O-lineman at 15.

If Cam were there I'd like to see that too.

other than Newton none of the other QB's look like good value at 15. I'd prefer to see VY brought in and draft a QB 1st round next year after TS and company are gone.

Andy - Gee how about giving a player a chance to develop? Misi had a decent start for his first year, you can't expect your picks to go to the pro-bowl the first season. It took Mario Williams, #1 overall 3 years to come into his own, nobody called him a bum after one year. If Wake did so well, Misi had to have been doing something right. To call him a bum after his first season is a bit harsh.

ESPN, for what its worth is reporting that 6 teams in the top 12 are seriously looking at drafting a QB first round. The chances of Cam Newton being available at 15 are so slim it isn't even worth discussing any longer.

Also, the Odrick pick is looking quite suspect when a NT could have been drafted.

The one place the Dolphins were solid last year was the DE.

Odrick will have to be some kind of superstar to be worth that 1st pick, now that the Dolphins will have to pony up 8 Million for Solia.

Oregon,

I'm always awestruck at the intelligence and I.Q. of those that agree with my point of view.

Are you by any chance related to Einstein?

Oregon, reminds me of another team (Bills) who drafted a RB when they had 2 and all those other holes. People continue to say Odrick will pan out. We'll see. He's suspect to me too (any rookie is that gets hurt 2nd game of the season, or whatever it was).

Oregon...Dan Williams was considered the top center in the draft. Many projected us to pick him at 12. He fell to around 26, just before we picked Odrick. However, would have been a mistake. Williams never started, couldn't get in shape, might even be a bust, would have been a wasted pick and there certainly was no other center grading out 1st round material. So we couldn't have had a worthwile NT there, and Soliai worked out anyway...in hindsight we didn't need an NT afterall.

DC,

Are you saying you like what the Bills did last year drafting Spiller? I thought it was a crazy pick myself! Fred Jackson was the best back on their team and they had glaring needs on the offensive line, the defensive line, and needed help at WR and even the secondary. I thought running back was the last thing they needed. I thought it was a wasted pick.

I'd like to know what we are going to do about the TE position. It's looking more and more likely that the Raiders will franchise Miller and the Jags will franchise Lewis. I think it's imperative that we draft a pass-catching TE in our first three picks. I'm tired of this team ignoring the position. Fasano just isn't good enough.

Ox80,
true enough.

The player I wanted was Dez Bryant. This team is missing a good speed WR to balance BM.

I continue to be blown away by the incompetent of the Dolphins staff to fail to see how teams would simply bracket BM and cheat up on the running game due to the Dolphins having zero vertical threat.

I saw that coming from my couch in Oregon. Yet Mr FG seemed to think Hartline and Fassano were going to stretch the field? Ridiculous.

NO CRAIG! I'm saying I hated both the Spiller pick AND the Odrick pick. I'm no fan of Odrick. Actually, I'm no fan of any rookie that gets hurt week 1 or 2 and is the #1 pick.

Odrick is a bust to me right now. Maybe he'll prove himself this year, but I have a bad feeling he'll be another Crowder.

I wouldn't be upset if we get Ingram at 15 - I know they are looking to trade down and i agree, but if there is no deal worth trading down for he is a good option. I wuold like to see us pick up a QB, but I don't think there will be one worth the 15th pick available for us.

Where is the new post... This topic is old hat...

Oregan...well realistically, it wasn't likely they were going to pony up 100 million for two receivers. Their decision came down to Dez or Marshall, not both. They were not impressed with Dez' football smarts, ability to read defenses, so they went with Marshall, tougher proven WR. I fully understand that. Now Dez, I agree he is a serious offensive threat, but we can now see he is injury prone, had several different injuries in camp and during the season, missed games...he may not be tied together well enough to hold up in the NFL. Dez was more of the high risk/high reward type.

Craig, I never said to pay teh guy $12m, I just want him to be paid as a good NT is paid becuase he is that. he was the player I was most awstruck with when I watched the Dolphins live in Buffalo. Some of his effort is caught in the shuffle when watching on tv but man he just killed that Buffalo C (who is a pretty good C actually). He did the same with Mangold who is everyone's favourite C these days. Also held his gorund with Pouncey. He deserves to get paid with some of his better piers.

And I don't know how none of these QBs wouldn't be worth a 1st round pick. 3 of them played in the best conference in football and put up good stats. All of them have an excellent arm and prototype NFL size. One of them went undefeated and is being compared (by pro football players, not me) to Roethliseberger (Newton). One has a gunslinger mentality and put up unworldy stats against the best defenses in the land and can make all the throws. And then the other is considered a consensus top 5 pick. Sure none of them may be able to start from day 1 but that's ok. Flacco and Sanchez and Freeman were not considered day one starters recently and all drafted in teh 1st round and all have turned out more than worthy of a 1st round pick. The worst of the 3 is probably the guy taht was drafted highest.

If draft day comes and one of these 3 guys are on the board and none are drafted, I will be let down - no doubt about it.

Craig,

I recall reading that the TE class is extremely weak this year.

I agree with you that Fassano is just inadequate, a 2nd stringer and yet the staff signed him to a big extension!?

Who is the kid who caught a couple of passes the last game of the season?

Perhaps he has some potential. Mr FG appears in love with Fassano though...

Armando, you probably saw this already but it's an interesting fact:

Sanchez's numbers, for instance, were buoyed by dropped interceptions. Football Outsiders charted 15 of them for Sanchez, a figure that easily led the NFL.

Henne threw 19 interceptions and had only one dropped.

OK DC....thanks for clarifying. The Odrick pick is still an unknown. Let's remember he was part of the trade down. It could still work out.

DC - It amazes me how quick fans are to label players a bust. Expectations are way unrealistic, its the exception not the rule that a 1st round player dominates in their first season. Odrick, yeah bummer he got hurt, but he was rated the #1 end in the entire draft...that says to me its worth letting the guy actually play a season before passing judgement. Was it a fluke injury or is he injury prone? Don't know, we'll see.

Dez looks like a game changer WR to me.

And as far as money goes, if yo want top notch WR talent then you have to pay.

IMO the game has changed into a pass oriented league. Some teams get it, GB, Indy, NE, NO. Some teams dont, the Dolphins.

What I want to see is two dominant WR's and throwing the ball downfield. Shot gun, spread formations, a perpetual hurry up offense and constantly attacking.

The vaunted Steelers D could deal and nether can most teams.

Ronnie Brown is a bust

But I like Ronnie

Why not play to your strengths?

What the team has is a dominant pass rusher in Wake and a defense that is coming together.

Yet the D never gets to play with a lead because the offense is so putridity conservative and predictable.

Mr FG is simply incompetent, coaches scared and will never lead the Dolphins anywhere but into mediocrity.

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