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Sometimes expensive now is cheaper later

Today's pages of the Miami Herald include my first column since returning from vacation. It's about good news and bad news. It's about the Dolphins being lucky and yet unlucky. It's mostly about money.

My column is about the dilemma Paul Soliai will present the team when the lockout ends.

Soliai, you see, is now considered an outstanding and valuable player. No wonder he's Miami's franchise player, a designation that carries with it a $12.476 million guaranteed salary.

That's wonderful because it means somehow Soliai's value has climbed so far that he is no longer the immature kid that was probably on the roster's margins a couple of years back. He's no longer considered a player with big potential that also had brought big disappointment.

Soliai is a starting nose tackle and a behemoth of a man that would get bigtime money in free agency if he were available. I guarantee you if Soliai hit free agency the Washington Redskins would be in line to sign him. I think the Denver Broncos would be also interested because GM Brian Xanders thinks very highly of Soliai.

So the Dolphins move to put the franchise tag on their good player was wise.

But ...

It would have been more wise to simply sign Soliai to a multi-year deal. Like, back in October or November.

So why didn't that happen?

The Dolphins apparently didn't believe their own evaluations. Even as Soliai was playing well once he was thrust into the starting role, the club was apparently wary that it was a mirage. The club was not certain that Soliai's level of performance could last until the end of the season and obviously into 2011 and beyond.

So the club proceeded cautiously in negotiations. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, agents do not proceed cautiously. Soliai's price was rising quickly with each passing week. And the price that hovered around $4 million a year in early November kept rising and rising.

But the Dolphins, perhaps cautious that Soliai was on a contract push and could not be trusted long-term, didn't keep pace with an impressive contract offer that could have enticed the player to sign a long-term deal.

That cautious approach protects the team's interest if the player is indeed a one-year wonder or suddenly falls off the performance table at the end of the year. But Soliai played better as the season progressed. And he rejects the idea he's a one-year wonder. He believes the light bulb has come on and this is the player he'll be going forward, maybe even better.

And now his price tag, the neighborhood of which is mentioned in my column, is seriously expensive. What the Dolphins could have bought at a bargain in October and early November is now up to three times pricier.

The Dolphins allowed Soliai's value to outgain their offers instead of getting even or just ahead of that value. So they had to catch up with a burdensome franchise tag tender that accounts for 10 percent of their salary cap.

And, as the column says, negotiations for a multi-year deal will not be easy.

So is all this hindsight?

Of course it is! As an outsider, that's all I can offer. But the Dolphins should be better than dealing with hindsight. They had their own internal evaluations of Soliai's play. They should have known what they were seeing happen on the field.

If their evaluations were saying Soliai was playing at a very high level, their contract offers should have improved dramatically. If their evaluations were saying Soliai wasn't play at the kind of level his agent was selling, the team should have stuck to its negotiating guns.

It is obvious the former is the correct scenario because, again, the Dolphins felt Soliai was so valuable, they tagged him as their franchise player. So if he was so valuable, why didn't they just get ahead of the process and pay him in November?

He would have been much cheaper to sign then.

Please follow me on twitter. And check me out on radio M-F from 6-10 am on 640-AM in South Florida or 640sports.com streaming live on the web.


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Cuban Menace,

If it turns out Aloco is Soiled Bottoms, I'll take up "huffing" my Damn Self!

Heck I'll even dip it in to the neighbors cow again...what the hey!

FAKE GM, at least I can understand that opinion. You think the team is good, but hampered by the QB. I can accept that viewpoint (I actually can accept all viewpoints, there are just some that don't add up in my head).

I happen to disagree (I think there were way more problems than Henne last year), but at least I can see your linear thinking.


I don't get what you're talking about with regards to Starks last year. You talk about him being a 'fill in'. Did you know he went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate? Look it up. They don't send 'fill ins' to the Pro Bowl.

I'm not sure what the Henne argument is. The two aren't related. I think what most of are saying is we like Soliai, we want him to continue to start and continue to show. If they can get him to agree to a long term deal great. Bottom line, he's on this team for another yet. Right call. I'm not sure how you can critiscize this regime for that.

Whats up Everyone??? Good to see some familiar names.

Craig M..DC..Best There was.

I'm going to try and respond this way. I explained why I thought the Fo had every right to procede with caution with Soliai. If my understanding of how the situaion played out. The Phins could have made him a multi year offer in the middle of the season. They gambled that Soliai would not continue the level of play that he had shown to that point.

This is where the mistake if any was made. There had to be a reason the Fo did not believe what their own eyes told them. To risk knowing that Soliai would continue to play at a high level, and that more then likely we would have to franchise him tells me there was something going on that we don't know about. Or that simply the team just didn't trust Soliai to continue to improve.

They rolled the dice. But really what did we lose? Some cap space? When you think about it. What we gained is an up and coming space eater that is finally performing to the level(and beyond) of his expectation. He did not go anywhere, and will hopefully workout a long term deal to stay here. It is easy to pick on the FO for their blunders. But this one is hardly a big deal. It would have been much more grevious if they had just let Soliai go. So in this light, we really have nothing to be upset about.

Lol @ Odin,I too will partake in Lil Aloco's "Gluefest", I bet Soiled bottom last year it could'nt be done and he did it on my post name..., Maybe I'am Soiled Bottom..., OMG, Maybe I need a Drink or two,Maybe I'am everyone here..., Maybe Iam the only person on earth....OMFG..... Help!!! LOL.

Players get paid for performance. Soliai had shown very little before last season. When the season ended they probably tried to get a deal done with Soliai but who knows what his agent was asking for. I'm sure the Dolphins will try to get a deal with Solia before the season starts, asssuming of course Soliai is in shape. If not I guess he plays this year for $12 mil. Either way I'm not sure the FO can be faulted for this.

Craig, I think Starks would have been better not moving to NT, that's what I'm criticizing. Yes, he played well, but the decision to move him to NT detracted from his good play (didn't enhance it). I think that's widely accepted (by I guess everyone but you).

And my criticism is that this shouldn't be an issue now, it should have been resolved. But you're right, if they sign him long-term, they don't have to pay frachise tag money, and all is well. So we'll have to see what happens. But if we pay Solia the franchise tag this year, and next year he walks, and we don't find an adequate replacement, and our defense suffers next year, expect an "I told you so" from me.

However, I meant to agree with you that the fact we're even having this conversation means football is almost here, and that's nothing but good. But expect a lot more despair from me until the season starts, because I'm not going into this all gung-ho and "go get 'em." I'm coming into it as a lover scorned. In 2010, in 2009, in '07, '06, etc. TS and Co. will have to prove to me they learned something before I get too excited.

..One more thing. Could it be possible that there was a feeling out process between the club, and Soliais agent last year during the season? What I mean is could it be that Soliais camp was giving off the vibe that they wern't going to except anything less then free agency. And gamble on the club franchising Soliai. Knowing that he was going to get a big payday no matter what. This scenario is totaly plausible. And if the club was sort of held in limbo. It could be just the circumstance of doing buisness. Soliai, and his camp could have been holding the cards, and just waiting for the Phins to show theirs first.


If we find out Soliai shows up out of shape and overweight will it be fair to say the team made the right decision? That's been the history with this guy. Let's see what happens. I highly doubt he'll be in football shape coming in but let's see.

On other news....Nick Barnett is supposedly available for trade. Is there somebody on the current roster we could trade for Barnett? Keep in mind the Packers are looking to cut some salary and have depth at linebacker. I'd like to see Barnett come in and take Crowder's spot on the team.


The FO was also wise to hold off any long term contracts until they know what rules they'd be playing with this year. You don't sign guys ling term unless you know what the caps going to be and what rules you are playing by. As I said earlier, it's not just about the hits you make but it's about the misses you avoid. When you like at the teams that are near the bottom it's not uncommon to find 'mistake' contracts they have handed out. The Patriots, as an example, are a team that are VERY cautious in handing out long term contracts. They are doing it again this year year with Mankins and they've done it with other guys like Assante Samuel. If it's a copycat league the Pats are the team I want the FO copying.

You, are no outsider, Arrrmando.

LIL Aloco, Are you Mr. Soiled bottom???(If so your a evil ,Mastermind).....

Fryed Wings 4:30 minutes, Boneless wings 5:00 Minutes, Fried cheese 1:45 seconds..., LIFE AS A LINE COOK.



Isoceles mayonnaise of Greece salad cat Gerald Ford monorail.

Plentiful rectangle Philadelphia shoe buttocks.

Tequila Lou Grant Super Godzilla Chili.


Posted by: Cuban Menace | July 24, 2011 at 01:05 PM


Yes! You are Kung Fu Sauerkraut!!

Craig M...Good post @12:48..I agree.

So if you are going to bash Jeff Ireland, why don't you come with some facts instead of just an opinion. My dog can have an opinion about football. Come with facts.

Posted by: Fake GM | July 24, 2011 at 11:48 AM


Arf Arf - Bark Bark!
Woof Woof!

Bow Wow - Bow Wow.


I can't believe people are actually talking about vince young. He sucks.

Player Team Run D Rank Tackles Solo TFL
Williams, Kyle Buffalo 32 76 54 16
Ngata, Haloti Baltimore 5 63 47 12
Raji, B.J. Green Bay 18 39 29 10
Garay, Antonio San Diego 4 48 37 9
Soliai, Paul Miami 7 39 33 8
Wilfork, Vince New England 11 57 46 8


Arf - Vince Young - Bark!

Craig D made an excellent point about the unknown rules for this year. The negotiation last season was hindered by the fact that neither side was sure what to expect this season. Otherwise a deal would have probably been done and the whole discussion would be moot.

I think we're all frustrated with the FO, the fist pump and the hanging Chad. Let's see what happens this year...

FACTS? Ok, we were 1-15 then went 11-5 (due to the whole Wildcat thing and CP10) and then 7-9. From "Bad" to "OMG! The Dolphins are in the play-offs!" to "Mediocre, Again!".
That's why I gave them a "C" (Average). Not Poor, not Good, and not Excellent! Just Average. And, until we start winning more games, that's what Sparano and Ireland will be considered, Average.
Yes, they've made us a better team than when we were 1-15. But, if we can't get past 7-9 or 8-8, then they'll be considered "unable to take the next step" in a team's evolution and will be out of a job.
"Just the facts, ma'am!" Dum-dee-dumm-dum!

Absolutely right....7-9 won't cut it. We may never be PERFECT again, but we need to be making playoff runs...leading to another SB win!

The chance a giant meteor will strike and destroy the Earth within the next year?
10 billion to 1.

The chance Tony Sparano ever lands another HC job in the NFL?

"They should have known what they were seeing happen on the field."

Even if they saw it, nobody anywhere but Solia and his agent thought he was worth any where near probably any of the offers he was getting till late in the offseason.

Especially after the Hansworth debacle in washington. Can you imagine if Sparano and Ireland gave him a 8 mil contract in Oct and he got hurt or got fat again or just sucked? It is their job to protect the team also.

Everyone and their mother was thinking solia was a contract year hero with very high risk.

I cant blame them for this, and you shouldn't either.

We all knew Solias past, of all the players on the team to be cautious about it was him. I mean really.

He wasnt even the starter when the season started and you think they should have given him a big fat extension so early? I dont think so.

Interesting conversations about Soliai but I have to side with DC. This bunch has had enough time to learn their respective jobs. But they continue to make rookie mistakes. Look, Ferg was at the end of his career. A 3-4 deffense needs 2 NTs at the minimum. They could have...just like Mando said...got him cheaper earlier but didn't. Let me repeat, a 3-4 deffense needs at the minimum 2 NTs.

Come on, this was just one more mistake by the 'brain trust'.


Posted by: Cuban Menace | July 24, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Its hard to keep up with all those names....

way to confirm what WE ALREADY KNEW......

As mentioned by others, this past season GM's were in lock down mode until the new CBA was resolved. To not factor that into the equation is overlooking the reality of the situation.

Mr.Fist pump ever smelling play-offs 1 in a 1,000,000
Mr Fist-pump winning a play-off game 1 in 10,000,000
Mr.fist pump winning a Super bowl 1 in 1,000,000,000.
These numbers were lugged into my computer here at NASA, I mean thanks to Mr.Obama Iam being laid off in two weeks so I fed all the fins info into the Super Computer we have and these are the numbers it came up with,BTW I rounded out the numbers, Next Iam gonna plug in If Bill Cohwer were Head coach what the numbers would be.

Yeah Baby, Fist Pump City.

For most teams, picking Orton over Young makes sense. But this is the Tony Sparano/Jeff Ireland lead Dolphins. Meaning - run first, wildcat and ball control. Young's skill sets fit better with the type of offense we run and the wrinkles Dabol is suppose to bring. Let's be honest, Sparano would love to run the wildcat half of the game if it's successful. Dabol is suppose to use more zone blocking techniques and more intermediate pass. Basicly to make Mike Holmgren (west coast offense)happy, he converted some of the west coast offense to a coryell offense (what we ran last year) without changing the terminology. So there be more 1 step and 3 step drop backs instead of the standard 5 step and 7 step drop backs for the QB. In my opinion, the key addition that he will probably bring will be more boot-leg and rollouts on play-action plays (like a west coast offense). So having a mobile qb brings the threat to run in rollout situations, throw in a wildcat formation or create a postive run in a busted pass play. The Phins NEED V. Young and he NEED the Phins.

Kyle Orton is a better passer but Young would bring a greater offensive threat than Orton. Much like Mike Vick did in Philly.

For those that have been wondering where Soiled bottoms been here it is, May I add that Mr Bottoms hase a drug addiction(Weed) And should seek help asap.(Seems all great writers from Hemmingway to Twain have had some type of substance abuse)
Dear Mr. Salguero

Welcome back (to both of us)...I guess the Miami Herald realized I was serious with my threats of violence and gave you your job back.....your welcome :)

I myself have had a run of bad luck.
I lost my court case in civil court and was evicted from my home of 5 years.

There was lots of crying from my old lady and to my suprise from my former landlord...though my friends tell me my landlords tears were tears of joy....I would like to think he was just sad to see me go because he always said I was a profesional Gromphadorhina portentosa.

Now I don't know what profesional Gromphadorhina portentosa means but I'm sure it means somthing nice...what can I say, I'm forever the optimist.

After hitting rockbottom I was then handed a shovel and found myself living in a seedy little motel surrounded by Jets and Pats fans..... now thats a bad part of town.

But now my luck is changing again but this time for the good, as I was able to procure a very nice large walk in closet for rent in a single wide 20 year old mobile home.

Things are a little cramped but me and the old lady are cozy and no longer in the foul elements.

My new landlady even has a new nickname for me...she calls me a Hirudo Medicinalis...I'm sure it means somthing nice.

Anywhoo thats all for now...will write soon

Soiled :)

Posted by: SoiledBottom | July 24, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I read today that teams have until September 20th to sign their franchise players to long terms deals. I would suggest the dolphins have lots of time to get a deal done with Soliai. Let's find out what kind of shape he's in, how commited he is and what else the team does in FA before we get to concerned about a long term deal for this guy. The FO has two months to figure things out.

Ruban is ARoco?

Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf!!!!!!!!


...I know that I may be getting ahead of myself. But I can't help it. Here is a list of free agent Rookies that may have a chance to contribute to the team in the preseason. A few may even have a chance to make the roster, or practice squad.

Kendric Burney..He has nickel corner, ans special teams guy written all over him.

Weslye Saunders..Tight end that for character issues did not get drafted. Perhaps this was the wake up call for him.

Derrick Locke..Could be an explosive answer in the backfield. Small, but can catch the ball in space(if we can get this concept on offense this year)

Ugo Chinasa..Big body inside. We can always use the depth on the defensive line. Especially this pre-season when injuries may become more of a factor.

Chase Reynolds..This is a a homer choice. But given a chance I would bet that Reynolds will make a team. Undersized as well. Is an excellent blocker, pass catcher, and powerfull runner. Broke all of Lex Hilliards school records in only 3 seasons. Would have been a late round selection if it wern't for a shoulder issue that nagged him all of last year. The amount of cheap hits after the play was dead was jaw dropping. A tough kid that just needs a chance.

It's incompetence like this that keeps us mediocre.

Couple of comments, my fellow Phins fans:
1. Miami should not give away picks (this is what we have been doing since Wanny era, and big part of why we have been chasing the Pats the last decade)
1a. After that statement , on our Qb issue we are going to be force to give Henne one last shot ( I would go after VY or Bulger, which is the route I thik Ireland will take)
2. We need to fing a good) (Bradshaw will be nice, but I don' mind if we pair Ronnie wit Thomas)
3. I am amaze that with all the QB and RB talking, just some people recall that OL needs an upgrade, Pouncey may be a pice but I think we should grab Robert Gallery (Raiders) and have Garner and Jerry fight their way into the starting lineup (Incognito and Gallery)
4. We need to grab depth at OLB ( maybe JT could be a good bridge for one year) and ILB.
5. If you want to add an area that need either upgrade or depth would be TE but I don't see that happening this year, we should see what Clay can do as a hybrid.

Those are the areas , and I think we could be playoff contenders, as someone commented here, I think the roster is pretty decent and young, in that sense I think Ireland has done a decent job ( I think his failures has been on FA, don't need to provide examples but there are enough over the last 3 yrs).

Go Phins!


You can at times be such a bleeping hypocrit. Back in October and November even you yourself wasnt completely sold on Soliai. You would be a bold faced liar if you said you were and that goes for anyoneelse here who begs to differ.

Hell, back in October and November I was making posts raving about Soliai's improvement and was getting lambasted for lunacy. Now all of a sudden "EVERYONE" not named Ireland or Sparano saw it when they didnt.

Armando we're still good, but I must confess at times your hipocrasy has no ends. If you so believed that "you witnessed" Soliai making such great strides. My question to you is:

"Then why the hell didnt you create at least one blog stating such or clamor for resigning Soliai during that time?"

Now all of a sudden you make this blog seem like you were riding high on the Soliai bandwagon back in Oct/Nov when truth is you amongst those seeking to practically derail him as a fin player. I never once saw you print anything in support of Soliai. Pot quit calling the kettle black.

Aloco, I want to be your special friend.

I cant believe some of these same people who always clamored to run Soliai out of town are the same who are calling the fo "incompetent" for not resigning Soliai earlier. You kmnow exactly who you are.

There are socalled fans here who are miserable just for the sake of misery itself. You are the same ones who would find a way to still be miserable even if we won a SB. Geesh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone knew before 2010 Soliai would become a fa in 2012. Yet at no point during the entire season did anyone mention he should be resigned. Heck there were guys here still berating him in December he though he had shown great improvement.

There are definitely many here I wouldnt want to sit and have a beer with and dont care if you wouldnt wanna have one with me. Geesh!!!!!!


TYPO: Everyone knew Solia becomes a fa 2011.

The last two season I saw Soliai was progressing but everytime I posted about it many of you roasted those post. Now all of this garbage coming out your mouth of how incompetent this fo is over this matter.

Doesnt that make the same of yous just as incompetent? You were still blasting Soliai's play in December. How soon you forget. LOL.......

I have three cats but I'm fairly certain that one of them is dead. I am employed in the Sylvia Plath Library System of Greater Cincinnati as the Director of Ernest Borgnine Media.

I enjoy smoked turkey and Gouda sandwiches.

Please be my special friend, Aloco.


I was hoping we could get roaring drunk together and make omelets between bouts of vomiting, but Harry Potter would be OK. No hanky-panky, though. I am still a lesbian.

I am glad we are special friends, Mr. Aloco. I have long admired your vast wisdom and breathtaking writing.




I only travel by monorail or rickshaw, Mr. Aloco. I am prone to seasickness and have found Vikings to be quite unhygienic despite their homosexuality.

DyingBreed. Did I not read a post from you earlier suggesting something to the effect of relax and enjoy. And now an uptight rant?

Relax. It's only a game.

GUYS GUYS..calm down. Football is back! We're all having withdrawls. Next week we can sign VY and a good RB to pair with DThomas, and we'll be on our way to a fresh new season.

DB WAnts every one to say he was right and we were wrong and he is upset nobody remembers his posts from two years ago. Talk about vying for attention.


As I was DISPROVING your Kyle Orton is "check down Charlie" therory....and PROVING to you that when you stack Kyle numbers next to VY numbers....VY is easily the "check down king".....

and I did it with verifiable.....undisputable.....easily reseachable facts....

Did you own up and admit you were wrong my friend.....NO.....you told me to "relax".....and "its not that serious".....followed by the need to let me know you were going to "church"....

I say all that to say this.....We have all been wrong in our judgements and opinions at one point or another....and those that live in glass house's shoudn't throw stones....

or better yet...

Let he without sin cast the first stone...

Church reference......

in reference to @6:45

I would just add, he who wants to toot his own horn when right should be big enough to toot his horn when he is wrong. Especially from someone who often ridicules others for their opinions with no apologies even after he adopts their same opinions some time later (for example Ryan Mallett).

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