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The latest on the Paul Soliai contract situation

Last week I promised to get a comment from agent David Canter on Paul Soliai's contract situation and pending free agency bid. I failed.

Until today.

Today, you see, Canter did his weekly guest spot on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo and that is typically when I can corner the busy guy. Well, today he came on the show and the picture of the Soliai negotiations he painted was not necessarily grim, but certainly steeped in the possibility this isn't going to necessarily end how the Dolphins planned.

"Let me tell you this and take it however way you want," Canter said, "If the Dolphins don't pay Paul Soliai, there will be plenty of other teams lining up to sign him as a free agent, I know that ..."

Alrightie then.

That sentiment came within the context of productive, professional talks with the Dolphins, according to Canter, who was quite complimentary of Miami general manager Jeff Ireland. In fact, Canter said he spoke with Ireland earlier this week and the two plan to talk again in Indianapolis during the NFL combine late next week.

Canter did not discuss numbers or specifics of the negotiation with me. I know, however, through a Soliai family source that Miami has made the nose tackle several contract offers. The latest, interestingly, about 10 days ago was a one-year offer.

That obviously was declined as the sides don't have a deal today.

As to numbers involved in this matter, it is pretty clear the Soliai family is looking for a big payday. The numbers floated to me were $6 million per year average with (obviously) a large guaranteed bonus factoring into the math. I have no idea if that number is a starting point or the point where Soliai wants to be at.

I would not be too concerned this deal is currently not done. Frankly, the 30 percent rule limits how a deal can be written unless it includes a huge signing bonus. And the Dolphins have told Canter they aren't eager to do a deal without really knowing what the league's cap rules will be going forward.

That obviously is a reference to the uncertain labor situation between owners and players that is hovering like a fog around all 32 NFL teams now.

One thing is certain: Once the rules are agreed to and free agency begins, Soliai will be on the market to the Dolphins and everyone else. And either the Dolphins will pay or, if you agree with Canter, someone else will.

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I understand that you cannot judge a nose tackle by the amount of tackles, or sacks. There is much more that they do to contribute then what the numbers say. 33 tackles is a good number. 6 mil a year is just an arbitrary number. But Soliai is a guy that plays on first and second downs. In fact he has no statistical numbers on third down. Like I mentioned nose tackles shouldn't be judged by tackles. But should we be paying a player this much money for what amounts to a first, and second down run stopper?

You can make the argument either way. Yes it is important to be able to stop the run on obvious run downs. Yes this does have tremendous value. But at this amount, does it? What Soliai was last year was an efficient plug on first and second downs. I am by no means undervaluing(is that a word?) Soliais contribution, or importance. But paying this much to a guy that is not even on the field on the most important down is a little crazy to me.

kris, Sparano's in a bind. With all the movement in coaching ranks in the NFL this year, where does Miami rank on the coaching radar? Correct, near the bottom. Everyone smells blood in the water, and aren't interested in a 1 yr. job (and that's a strong possibility).

And Cox can give these young guys something sorely lacking on this team (veteran, or at least a used-to-be player, mentorship and a sense of history). That's why I wanted Zach back as linebackers Coach. He can sympathize with these guys, give them some pointers on what to do when you feel like you're carrying the team (because in Miami post-Marino the defense always carries the offense).

Plus I liked the passion Cox played with. Reminded me of Mike Singletary. He'll be able to relate to Wake, Dansby and Misi in that respect. I think Crowder could play with fire, sometimes does, but he's just not enough of a force anymore (the times he's not hurt).

So I'd be good with Cox.

But you're right, Sparano's grasping, and should be. An 0-4 start almost guarantees a mid-season switch to Nolan. He needs as much help as possible. And it'd be nice to at least have 1 Coach that's coaching a position he knows about (or played). Sorry Dorrell, I guess you'll need to prove me wrong.

Darryl, on the heals of your comment I would like to add one of my own. I don't think Miami forgets, I neither should anyone else, that in 2009 Paul Soliai could not play for more then 3 downs without needing airlifted off the field to the bench for copious amounts of O2, a bowl of rice and palm hearts... and 2 or 3 gallons of gatorade.
Miami offered the one year deal obviously to cover themselves if the salary cap situation goes bad, since they still have an impressive list of needs to attend to aside from fat boy in middle of line. And to give Paul one more year to show the only year of 4 he played that was worth a damn was not a fluke. A very fair and might I add, a damn smart move by our Manager Jeff Ireland.
I do not want to lose Paul, but I do not trust one year wonders....EVER! I would say somewhere in the 4.5 to 4.85 range in a deal that has a nice bonus but is very heavy with incentive clauses is about the right numbers for a player who has 16 games to brag about.

I guess I am fed up with all of posturing going on in the labor talks but since Goodell wants a better structure to improve the game, how about this for Soliai: Give him 6 mil with no guarantee. If he plays like last year, great. He plays better and say makes the pro bowl, he gets another mil. He pleays like he did the two years before 2010, he gives the money back except for the amount he was paid this year.

We are all tired of seeing players cash in after one good year following a otherwise forgettable career and then, after they get the big bucks,regressing back into mediocrity. If the player raises the bar and continues to play that way great. If not...

Then, take all that money saved from the players who got fat and happy and split it amoung the players that performed.

I live in a fantasy world

Derek..I agree. It is easy for teams to over react in contract year situations. If Soliai had put together more then 1 year of good play. I could see meeting his demands(or what the reported number is). It is a gamble for sure. But the team has to factor in all of the variables(like the fact he was out of shape in the past) not just a single season.

Obviously, the greatest fear is that Soliai leaves and dominates for another team. But really how much of a risk is it when the guy is a first, and second down specialist? I'm not downplaying the importance of him to our team. And I would love to see him stay. But if it is true that 6 mil is the number his camp is seeking. Soliai has to prove himself for more then just 1 season.

Do people really think someone is going to pay solia the average of top 5 NT in this league? Then why franchize him? I bet we end re-signing him for somewhere in between 5-6 million per year for 4 years with maybe 10 guranteed. That's basically what crowder got. If he becomes a fat pig then we cut him next year and be out 10million which would be what we'd have to pay him if he's tagged.

just put the franchise tag on him already and cut the crap. The dolphins make always make the wrong choices, letting go of the good players and pick up crap off the trash and call them icons

DD, wondering, who are your top 5 NTs?

Maybe Soliai isn't Top 5, but he's close.

Wilfork, Ngata, Casey Hampton (though wasn't he injured this year), Jay Ratliff, B.J. Raji, those might be the Top 5. There's Kris Jenkins, but he's been injured last 2 years. So who else is there that's better than Soliai?

No reason creating more problems if you don't have to. Plus, as has been stated a lot here, Miami isn't anywhere CLOSE to the cap (they never are), so the question becomes, why NOT pay him?

People keep calling Soliai a 1-yr wonder. He's a 4th-year player. I don't count '07 because who could shine on that horrible team. Then last 2 years he was a backup. Yes, he was immature, yes, he needed to work on technique, yes, he was overweight (part of the immaturity). This year he proved that he's been listening and learning to be a good professional. And you guys act like that's a stain or something. I say reward the guy for good work. Everyone's mentioned how hard the position is, how long it takes to master it, so it took him 4 years. He's arrived, this is his time to shine. And NOW you want to play around with the guy and risk him using all those lessons AGAINST Miami. Plain stupid! See, this is how it works, you develop a player, and then you get to watch that development pay off. If we kept some of the other players we've developed for other teams (ahem, paging Wes Welker) maybe we'd be a better team. This really is a no-brainer.

With that said, I don't care that it hasn't been done yet. I agree the team should wait and at least see what the new CBA has in store (as far as caps, etc.). But they need to understand, as soon as it's agreed to, they need to sign Soliai.

Who is Paul Solia? Did he really "get it" last year or was he just performing to get a fat new contract this year? The probabilities lie in the latter and if so, we don't want that kind of player in Miami. Let somebody else take him.

What's up fellas?

One of my favorite's of all time was Bryan Cox. He wasn't one of the best but my favorites never are. They are good and have their moments. I hated the Bills as a kid and I loved when Cox middle fingered the fans. I would feel the same way today if a player did it to the low class or should I say NO CLASS jets.

On Soliai, I have a feeling he stays in Miami but if he departs it wouldn't suprise me. Guys have one good year in their careers and want to get paid. I don't blame Miami for not wanting to break the bank or franchise him because wants he gets paid will he still perform or go back to the same over weight under achiever.

NOBODY is irreplaceable, not even Marino.

Nathanael, The greatest game in fins history was also a loss, San Diego vs Fins in 82, Great game even if the mighty air-breathers lost.... I bet you my last dollar that you wont see any Sparono led team do what a Shula team would do....... IMHO..

Oscar, so you're saying the guy had this hidden talent, but was lazy or something, and didn't show it. But because this is his contract year, he tried his hardest and over-performed, and now you think if he gets paid he'll just revert back to what he was doing in years past?

Seriously? Have all you guys been hanging with Home, going over conspiracy theories or something? Maybe he did it because he hated Paul Pasqualoni and now that Nolan's here, he can play with him.

People are way overthinking this. We shouldn't be looking for problems before they arise.

Also, if you paid Channing Crowder, and his, "I only intend to play 1/2 year" self, then paying Paul Soliai is basically a no-brainer.

DC Dolfan...

I call him a one year wonder because that is how many year he has been a benefit to the team. Lets get real honest here for a moment, this time last year on this very same blog 50% of the posts were for taking a NT with the 12th pick. I think Dan Williams was the guy most salivated over. And during that time, there was no one talking about how Paul Soliai was just immature and growing into the job... They were saying he sucked and we had better get someone in here or we would suck with him.

Now I agree wholeheartedly that we should not make a habit of developing player and getting them NFL starter ready just to see them wander off into another teams arms. But I was not joking when I said Soliai could not play more then 3 downs without leaving the field (I may have pressed it with the O2 and Palm Hearts)... 6 Million is a TON of cash. Based on 16 games. Frankly, it scares me that Soliai was unwilling to take a one year offer. It would be a nice chunk of change and he would still be able to go if he wants next year and it gives Miami a chance to see what they have is more then a guy who did a great job for one year. Because no matter how you dress it up... That is exactly what he did.


Thanks for refreshing my memory on those Steelers games. 72 - 73


Uttering the name Sparono and Shula in the same sentence has left a bad taste in my mouth, I must do a shot of Jack Daniels to remove it, Be back in a minute...

The probabilities, DC, probabilities, not possibilities.


Rinse real good man.


Also, if you paid Channing Crowder, and his, "I only intend to play 1/2 year" self, then paying Paul Soliai is basically a no-brainer.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | February 16, 2011 at 04:50 PM

I hear that Crowder signed a contract with a stationary bike company.., Mando, can you check this out???, He seems like he'd be a great spokesman for this product, he spends all preseason and half of the year on these things...

Channing will probably not be here next season(nor does he want to be), DC.

DC..I don't know how the players you named are used in their teams scheme. And I'm not saying ignore Soliai. I'm trying to make the point that he only plays on first, and second downs.Also the above Nt's with the exception of Raji have proved their value for more then one season. My point about him being top 5 was more about the franchise tag. I don't believe he has proven that he is in that league yet.

To your point about who may be better, I cannot name many NT's. Especially 3-4 nose tackles. Franklin from SF comes to mind right away(he was franchised last year). So I should have worded my argument differently. Of the top five nt's. Soliai is not in that group, and doesn't yet deserve this kind of contract. This doesn't mean that he isn't important. I just think the Phins would be smart to think about shelling out that sort of money for a player that isn't a three down guy.

Now, this could be a scheme thing. And beyond Soliais control. But I would be shocked if the above nose tackles were just used on the first two downs like Soliai. I could be wrong(it has happened before..) Also, I'm making my argument in accordance with a figure thrown out by a source. With the 30 percent rule. This would eliminate the possibility of a guaranteed contract of this size anyway. Don't get me wrong. Soliai filled a spot that was up in the air last offseason. I just think it is a bad move to pay him that sort of money(if that is the real number) until he proves more. Just my thought.

As far as a replacement if Soliai were to leave. I have no answer. Starks is an option. McDaniel is another option. But as far as rookies..no idea. As far as free agents..again no answer. Maybe this weekens my stance. But I just can't see paying Soliai that much money.


You're right, people were questioning Soliai last year. I know I was. But he proved us wrong. He learned from Ferguson. Plus, he's a Samoan, and they have a great track record in the NFL.

The 1-yr contract doesn't phase me, I probably wouldn't take it either if I was being told that plenty of teams would be wanting my services if Miami didn't resign me. He wants to test the waters, see what else is out there (or use that as leverage).

I just think if a team that's closer to making the Playoffs comes knocking (I know I would if it was me) offering similar money to Miami, he'll be running out of here. And I'd hate to see a hole created when it didn't need to be.

LOL Cuban, stationary bike company, that was HILARIOUS!!!

Miami has a long history with making the wrong decision on personnel. I don't know what Soliai will do, but I just have a feeling if we let him go we'll come to regret it (just a gut feeling).

BUT, I don't expect us to go to the SB this year anyway, so maybe we can fix it if it does happen.

6 mil for a guy who had 1 good year and has weight issues? I wouldn't do anything long term. Need to see if these are legit changes in his work ethic or just the typical results you see from guys when they are playing a contract year. Plus, the draft is very deep at that position, and you have guys like Shaun Rodgers and Kris Jenkins out there if you need someone to plug the hole for a year or 2.

On a different note:

I just read Mel Kiper's 2nd mock draft. He has my boy Cam Newton going where I felt he would go too, Buffalo. The Bills still will suck but with a young nucleus of Cam Newton, Steve Johnson and CJ Spiller the doom and gloom city of Buffalo might soon be exciting again.

Kiper stuck with his original pick and has Mark Ingram going to Miami. If Miami doesn't go QB with Newton, Gabbert or Mallet then I am 100 percent on board with Ingram as the pick.

If Soliai Gets that Big raise he's looking for, invest heavily In Burger King stock, 6 million buys a lot of Whoppers.....

DC Dolfan...

Trust me my friend, I would hate to see the same thing. It is my fervent desire that Miami and Paul get it together. But I have seen too many teams burned right here, right now here we are with guys who as you say.. "Want to see what else is out there". The NFL is a business first and foremost. And somewhere along 1999 I realized I was no longer cheering for players in which I knew every name of on the team... I realized that I was cheering for the Logo and the franchise.

If keeping Soliai is best for the franchise on not only the field, but long term playing angle... Then I want him here... But if he goes, Miami gets a Compensatory #3 or #2 pick (not certain which) plus saves $6 million bucks.

If THAT is better for my team because he is a risk not worth taking... then so be it. What is best for the TEAM and Franchise is what is important to me. Not the players. They take care of themselves and would be gone if they could get more money.

i think solai and cantor will come back looking to do a deal once they find out what other teams are going to be willing to pay him. when you look at his productivity while he was on the fins roster he doesn't command a $6 million per year contract.
he "came on" during the 2010 season. he didn't with the same intensity from day one.
that being said, he's in no position to demand any kind of huge salary. a reasonable increase would be assumed but he's still an unproven commodity.

Mando, Is it true that Crowder is a new spokesman for Geico???, not having to apply make-up for the"Caveman" commercials should save them a bunch of money which means a saving for me when I get auto insurance......

As I made a reference to in my last post, losing free agents is not always a bad thing. I read many a post on this blog wondering how in the hell New England and Bill Belechick manage to stack so many damn draft picks every year. Well... Since you asked... They allow borderline FA's who may be good for a season or two who want great big paydays to walk... Then get compensatory picks given them for the loss of the player by the league.

They do not allow themselves to get wrapped up in players who they are not 100% sold on. It is the mark of a well managed team. It is the mark of a team driven by long term goals of winning EVERY YEAR.... not just this one.

We as fans want the great management we see around on other teams... but as soon as a very smart guy like Ireland does something we do not understand or have not seen before we crap our collective pants and say he is an idiot.

If Miami wants to become a team that is better... a team that is different then it has been for 15 years... something has to change.

"Because when nothing changes... Nothing changes..."

Dolphins seem to be trying to play the Starks in middle card. I dont think theyre on firm ground with this because who's to say Odrick's leg problems arent chronic.

If again Odrick cant play we have zero behing Starks even if he can play the position full time. Hope this thing doesnt blow up in Ireland's ball boy face.


Good post at 5:13. I could not agree more. Root for the franchise and Logo. Not specific players anymore. I think the last player I really rooted for specifically was Zack Thomas.


Actually Zach ranks up there with Marino in my book as all time Dolphin players.


Breed, Ordick has Osteoporosis, Doubtful he'll ever play again... Another fin wasted pick, and another reason this Regime will finish 5 and 11 at best next season...(2 and 8 in a strike shorten season)....

Dear Mr. Ireland,

Andy's post at 5:07pm is just interference. He really wants other teams to think (wink wink) that we're taking Ingram, though we know you would never make such a terrible mistake.

But let's keep up the show. Yeah, we're taking Ingram (wink wink), so we really get the guy we wanted (whomever besides Ingram that is).

Do not read anything more into Andy's post. He's a really good guy, but he's not serious about Ingram. Seriously! Wink Wink!

Cuban, where did you hear that? Odrick is gonna be great next year.

I would have much more concern about Odrick and his injury history if they were Muscular or Tendon related. If he had multiple ACL/MCL/Achilles injuries, I would feel chronic conditions could arise.

However, having a history in Dirt Bike and Supercross racing, I have seen dudes with Broken bone issues (Arms, Hips, Legs, Thighs, Backs, Etc)... that were horrific come right back and dominate the sport. Supercross has just as much leg, Hip and arm trauma associated with it is football. Just not the strength or speed issues.

What worries me most is between Odrick's ears. Injuries take there toll on confidence and desire. Should Odrick take another major injury in the next year or so that sidelines him for more then just a few games he may not have the mental drive to keep putting himself back together. Odrick was way up on every team looking at defenses board last year... he is no "Afterthought" pick. NE had him targeted and chose a different direction almost the day of according to their local newspapers at the time.

I feel very strongly that Ireland made a good choice although he was not the only one involved in it. Until Parcells has no more say in who is drafted... in other words.. Until this years players are drafted... I consider everyone taken in the last 3 drafts to be a Parcells product... He was the Football Czar... He was the man.... He is responsible for EVERYTHING that has transpired good and bad with this team the past 3 year IMO.

pay him in coconuts! just pay the man alrady you cheap clowns!


Dude, that is some serious erroneous information. If you could be so kind, would you provide a link or source that verifies your accusation? I would be flabbergasted to learn a LB who played in Penn State and was drafted by the Dolphins, going through a physical which includes complete blood panels and a DXA test (Bone mineral density) that would identify that condition in a second, is playing football.... Hell, I had to do a DXA just to jump out of airplanes in the military.

It is truly laughable how so many were saying how bad Soliai was and he was never going to make it in the nfl.

Now we can't wait for him to sign for $6M. Don't get me wrong - I have always liked his effort and size and am happy that this draft pick is working out so well.

Moral of the story - be patient maybe Henne works out the same way. But Sparano has to be more aggressive on offense and use Henne the right way.

Derek,Not sure where I reed it, but it had to do with the Follies Of the Dolphins drafting the past decade...

Lose Big Paul and forget about me being a season ticket holder again. I'm tired of 1 step forward and 1 step back. I want 2 steps forward for once!!!

If this bunch had enforced overweight fines, a lot of this wouldn't have been an issue. The CBA allows teams to fine players $400 per pound. Don't sound like much but it adds up fast. Do the math for say, 20#

But it seems the 'bigger is better' guideline overlooked overweight, out of shape players.

Ireland made noises about speed, guess we'll see.

So what does everyone think of Shaun Rogers?

Him and Nolan could be very interesting.

What would it take to sign him?

I have read many times that Pat White was taken because MIAMI was scared New England was going to take him.....

Now Derek post that "according to local papers" that NE had intrest in Ordick.....

If we are drafting only to SPITE NE......Somebody had better buy a DAM clue.....or NE will be playing us for decades and we will continue wasting picks...because we are scared big bad NE MIGHT have an interest in a player.....

Ireland and company had better start drafting for the needs of the Miami Dolphins...and stop drafting for the POTENTIAL needs of other teams......

**I know the Jury is out on ORDICK...so he may not be a waste of a pick......but no one can argue against Pat White.....I don't think White was given a fair shake...but none-the-less he was a wasted pick

Let's not forget Soliai wasn't even a lock to make the team. I agree that last year he played to a level worth $6mil a year, but the prior years he did not. He has a huge weight issue and if they don't make the contract incentive based tied to his weight and playing time we could get burned here.

As for franchising him, that would cost the Dolphins $11 million plus for his services next year - you can thank Dan Snider and Albert Hansworth for driving that price tag up.. Soliai, although potentially very good is not worth the franchise tag.

I think we'll get him signed,he likes Miami and the coaching staff, and Miami values him. They just need to make sure last year wasn't a contract driven performance year and protect themselves from him reverting back to an over-weight non-contributor.

Mando -

Just curious if we'll ever see another blog from you that doesn't plug your radio show?

Anyone read where Bryan Cox interview for an assistant coaching position with the fish?

If hired, I think his first order of business should be to take Channing Crowder behind the Davey complex and put a foot in his mouthy a*ss!

For one of the few times on here I'm going to agree with the consensus and say pay Paul Soliai. We have many needs on this team and opening up a new one, a very important one would be a bad mistake. I don't know what the ceiling is on this guy but I would happy if he could do what he did last year. If we can't get a deal one with him I think the team should look to put the transition tag on him which I think would bring him in around $7 million for the year.

I basically say they need to pay Soliai commensurate on last season's performance and benifit of the doubt he has arrived.

If Soliai gets away, Odrick goes chronic, and Stark's turn to finally have serious arrives we are so screwed in the middle of the d-line.

"serious injury"





The last time some 'jerk off' Agent was on a South Florida radio show...


Its a tough gamble...

Soliai had a really good season. But he ALSO has history with a questionable work ethic...

They could give him 5 or 6 million...and he could turn into

But the Dolphins need a Nosetackle to make their Defense work...so maybe they pay him.

I think we should make a good offer to Soliai but he should NOT be paid among the highest paid NT in the league.

In this day and age where athletes are getting paid based on what they have done in the past, I think the Dolphins and Soliai's agent need to remember that Paul did NOTHING for Miami for the first few years he was in the league. If the Dolphins didn't show him patience (in regards to his weight and work ethic), he might be out of the league right now.

Get a deal done but let's be realistic!

(Note to Ireland: if you had done your job and addressed this position in the last couple of years, we wouldn't be at the mercy of this "one year wonder")

DyingBreed (@ 9:52 PM)



(Either that...or towing Crowder behind an Air Boat until he promises to play better..:)

Cuban (@ 5:52 PM)

fear that Odrick has Osteoporosis.

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