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An insider's view of the Soliai-Dolphins negotiations

The deadline came and went on Tuesday but the Dolphins and nose tackle Paul Soliai were not able to reach agreement on an contract extension that would have effectively replaced the franchise tag number on the big fella, helped the Dolphins clear cap space, locked the player up for at least three more years, and settled an issue both sides will now have to revisit in the future.

It didn't get done.

Solia, who is making $12.476 million this season with every bit of it counting against the cap, cannot sign an extension now. He can become a free agent at the end of the season unless the Dolphins use the franchise tag on him again. Putting that tag on Soliai in 2012 would cost Miami a whopping $14.971 million -- crazy money for one year.

So why didn't the sides come together?

Well, this morning on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo on 640-AM in South Florida, agent David Canter broke what he termed as a self-imposed media silence on the matter and peeled back intricate details of the negotiation from his viewpoint. (I'd love to get it also from the Dolphins viewpoint, but I dropped my Iphone in the pool so I've been without ability to send or receive calls or texts for a week now. I also doubt the team would be much interested in exchanging either phone calls or texts on this matter with me anyway.)

But I digress.

Canter said on my show that he and the team were, "basically in completely different mindsets" as it relates to the negotiations. That's bad.

I asked him how far apart he was with the team and after asking how far Earth is from one of the outer planets, he got much more specific:

Ultimately, Canter said, the Dolphins wanted to pay Soliai "$8 million and change" per season to extend him to 2014. Their offer included $6-$8 million in "new guaranteed money." Understand Miami's thinking here. The team obviously viewed the $12.4 million this year that is guaranteed as part of the overall guaranteed money on a four-year deal.

Canter didn't see it that way. He was initially asking for $24 million in new guaranteed money before lowering that to around $18 million in new guaranteed money for three more years beyond this one. That would be on top of the $12.4 million his client is making this year.

So while the Dolphins were offering Vince Wilfork money, Canter was asking for a deal that falls above the three-year, $27 million contract extension Cleveland nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin signed on Sept. 11. Rubin got $18 million in guaranteed money for three more years and is locked up through 2014.

The problem? The Dolphins were willing to give $18-$20 million as the total guarantee for four years. Canter wanted to treat this year at the club's current structure -- with $12.4 million guaranteed --  and then get $18 million in guarantees for the next three years, just like Rubin got.

Contrary to a published report, neither side was ever talking about the Haloti Ngata deal the Pro Bowl player signed with Balitmore this week. That deal is worth a reported $61 million for five years -- over $12 million per season. That deal pays Ngata $27 million guaranteed money this year and $13 million in guaranteed money next year. Ngata is now signed through 2015.

"The Dolphins were more interested in getting us to take $40 million over five years for Paul Soliai," Canter said. "And that's a big divide, unfortunately."

Canter said the club made him the "Vince Wilfork contract" offer several weeks ago. He said he responded with a counter-offer but didn't hear back for a long time. As the deadline approached, he said he called general manager Jeff Ireland and capologist Dawn Aponte and the sides haggled back and forth.

"I made massive concessions," Canter said, "down at least $5-$7 million in guaranteed money and overall structure and they never once upped their original offer one dollar."

But ultimately the Dolphins and agent weren't able to get past the enormous gulf in guaranteed money they were discussing.

Don't ask me who is right here. Both sides obviously think they are. Both sides can make compelling cases why they are being fair and right.

The bottom line is Soliai may well be playing for another team next year or playing for nearly $15 million for Miami if the club franchises him again. If the Dolphins franchise Soliai, they clearly admit being wrong because for a mere $3 million more in guarantees they could have had him for two more years beyond 2012.

If Miami doesn't use the franchise tag again, Soliai will possibly walk.

Might Soliai get less on the open market than he's asking. "That's possible," Canter said. "We're willing to take that gamble and live with whatever happens." But Canter knows someone will sign Soliai. 

For now, meanwhile, nothing got done. And that should disappoint both sides.


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Those would be the teams I would look at too. I would through Indy into that mix too and I'm not convinced that either the Broncos or 49ers are that great either. I'd be shocked if either Jacksonville, Carolina or Minnesota took Luck. Al three of these teams took a QB in the first 12 picks of last year's draft. Doesn't make sense to take another one, IMO. That's why I didn't want one last year either. Anyways, on to Sunday. Let's see what this week brings.

nobody outside of carolina in those teams would pass on luck

Mulling over Solai's mediocrity so far, was wondering if maybe we shouldn't try Starks at NT. How depressing that Soliai would be designated franchise player in the first place.

Stock up on picks? If the season continues on the way it has neither one of these guys will be here. You really think they brought in another dallas reject so they could trade someone else away. Lol that would mean they would have actually done something that required thought and it's not even a good thought but it requires thought. They signed another Dallas reject well because thats what they always do and thats all they know what to do. They have zero clue of what they are doing. Sapp and Carrol play bad so they cut the better of the two and bring in Will Allen and Nate Jones. I would have thought they would have cut Carrol and kept Sapp and Allen being that actually would have been a slight improvement over what we have. Nope crap Carrol still on the roster Sapp costing more got cut. This isn't super market sweep it's football and what the hell are they so worried about saving money for they are well under the cap and their jobs are on the line!!!!!

...Soliai may not have been offered a contract for a few reasons. Perhaps the Dolphins have some foresight that the 3-4 will be scraped in favor of a 4-3 defense. We just do not have the right personel to run this scheme affectivley... It may be easier to switch back to the 4-3, then continue to try and plug in players into the 3-4...

This would allow the team a little wiggle room for future drafts, and signings. We could actually use picks to draft some skill players..Also, I think that the safties we have now are much better cover 2 guys, then zone. Guys like Jones, and Wilson were born to play cover 2. Play to their strenghts. The one position that we would need revisited is middle linebacker. I don't think that Carlos Dansby has the atheletisim to play the Tampa 2 scheme(I use this as a loose interperitation of how most 4-3 teams use their linebackers, and secondary)..

Anyway. If this is the plan, or this regime knows they are done if things do not turn around. Perhaps this is the reason the Phins didn't offer up Soliai a contract. This and he has played poorly the last 2 weeks...

Solai is nowhere near Vince Wilfork or even Albert Haynesworth, let Solai walk and get some playmakers on offense

Boot him and his greedy-arse agent to the curb. Solia has done NOTHING except get man-handled by everyone in his way. So a player that has HUGELY regressed after getting a Huge franchise tender, surprise surprise, excpects to get paid like a pro bowl NT?!?!?! Hey Paul, how many pro bowls have u been voted to? Yeah, zero ya duster!
And while we're at it, fire the coach, the GM and that boob of a wanna-be owner Ross. Cause everything starts at the top, and when you have a clown heading your organization, you will end up being a joke, just like our team is. ANYONE, including you Mando, who thinks that we will be any semblance of a good team, should have their head checked. Think about it, we have an owner, a GM and a head coach who are all new to their respective roles, and are learning on the fly. My grade now after 4 years of this regime, is a big ole whopping F!!! These guys don't know what the heck they are doing, reminds me of watching monkeys flinging crap at each other.
It starts at the top, and as long as that CLOWN Ross is at the helm, the SS Miami Dolphins are in for very rough seas, mark my words.

We are the new Bungles of the league, how far this once proud franchise has fallen, I dont know if I can stomach this for much more, this year is already a right off 2 weeks into the season. Our Big play offense is no better than last year, still cant score in the red zone and when it matters most. Four years in, our OL guru Sporano, still has a terrible patch work OL, no tight end, no true number 2 receiver, big slow LB who STILL dont know how to cover a TE, zero skill at safety, and a front three who cant get any push, at all, and now our corners have regressed this year, and dont even get me started on Sean Smith who is afraid to tackle or jam anyone on the line, and Vontae, just shut your big mouth, cause you probably wouldnt even be starting on half the teams in this league, let alone be the best in the league...moron. Im too depressed to go on, F#^% you Mrs Ross, you are a poison to this team, just leave all ready you clueless CLOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this lack of deal is good news for this saeson, solai hasnt turned up so far coz he's been peed that he hasn't got the deal he wanted, NOW he's gonna realise he's got to prove himself to get any kind of contract at any place next season

he's already shown that he's an incentive based player from previous seasons

wtach him light it up so he can be a BIG fa next offseason

I seriously just read that Sparano would be comfortable starting Nolan if Vontae can't go. HE'S NOT READY TONYyyyyy! How about Will Allen you dolt? Is this guy seriously going to make another roster mistake this soon. Nolans going to get burnt all day. And then Tony will sit in front of the camera saying he doesn't know what happened again. I didn't want to believe the conspiracies but it sure looks like Sparano is mailing it in so he can get fired and collect his money. He's doing nothing to make it look otherwise.

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Here's a couple of Acorns for you Jeffy!!!!

Solai makes more in 1 game ($750,000) than Henne makes for the whole season ($600,000).

Matt Moore and Tyler Thigpen were given contracts for $2million/season by the Phins.

What's up with that?

i cant wait for this season be over already hello 2012!

When you have to judge somebody's talent for something, liking or disliking him/her, cannot be included. Channing?

Who care how much money an 0-2 QB makes....

Why don't we concentrate more on winning a game.....and less on what our 0-2 QB makes.....

There is no evidence at this moment that Ireland is incompetent at his job, only some actions on his part that none of us liked.

Same with Ross as an owner.

I almost had a STROKE, when these idiots announced they were picking up 2 more cowboy retreads, I'm so sick of this BS, it's management by crisis, fire them now Ross! Your fan base can make better picks than your FO! I've been sooo pissed I haven't posted!!!

Cut Solia and go to a 4-3. Save the 12 mill. He ain't doing diddly anyway.

When the game starts Sunday I will be focusing on winning the game.

Mando brought up the story. Perhaps they're not paying Solai because they need the money to pay Henne who is in the last year of his contract and they have to stay within the salary cap.

If so then that is an enourmously important point that was left out of the story.

redsky, if it is found out that Ross is incompetent in any way as an owner, who is going to fire him?

Kindry, Solai sucks, his fat A S S couldn't get us in the endzone, stop throwing good money after bad! If it's guaranteed, then make him earn it and dump him if he doesn't perform!

There are plenty of other NTs that suck and cost less.

Posted by: Randy S. | September 21, 2011 at 04:07 PM

Truer words may never have been spoken on this blog....

Solia has everything to play for...and yet....has playef like crap....

Jeff and Tony have been smart to keep their purse stings tight on this one....

Same with Henne.....chances are....Ross may have not be giving Jeff the coin he needs.....

I forgot about that redzone play.

They need to try that play some more to get it to work.

Anyway I'm looking forward to the game.
Henne needs to be throwing 50+ times per game like he did against NE.

Colt McCoy is gonna come out throwing. We need to do the same.

The running game is for the 4th qtr when we got a lead.

Oscar, Ross picks the FO, if he's losing money, as he is, as a smart business man you change that! Look at baseball, you have a manager that's not getting the job done you fire him and get another

Price Master....I hear what your saying....but I HIGHLY doubt they are saving uo their money to break the bank on Henne....

Most likely Henne won't be here next year......neither will Tony...

Ross is npt going to let them spend his money on signing Bonuss on players who may not be here next year.....

Fire Sparano.

1. Blake.

Henne throwing 50 plus times ='s 0-2....

That is bad math in all equations.....

To be honest...its just plain bad football....Even Marino's record was bad when he was forced to throw that much......but I did love those Marino/O'brien duels....

Look at the facts:
-Henne was the greatest QB in Michigan History
-Stephen Ross is the largest donor to Michigan Boosters
-Stephen Ross bought this team because Henne is on it
-When Stephen Ross said, "...Henne will be the greatest Dolphins QB..." last year he was guaranteeing that Henne will start at least 5 more years here.
-Henne had everyone connected to the BACKDOOR wildcat dismissed from the organization
-Sparano and Ireland are still working here because Henne told Ross they could stay.

Wake up dude!

The Cleveland offense isn't nearly as good as NE's offense. Neither is thier defense.
Henne is gonna cover the over himself in this game.

Wake up dude!

Posted by: PriceMaster | September 21, 2011 at 07:37 PM
That was the best wirds from your post....because I was kinda sleepy......

But after reading that.....lol....

I can't stop laughing....

You can't be serious man.......that is to funny.......are you challenging Odin and Soiled for the funny man on the blog....

At the golf tournament after the season Ross was driving Henne around in the golf cart and drove up to the photography stand for everyone to photograph it.
I didn't notice Ross driving anyone else around, did you?

I would be satisfied with Henne throwing for 150 yards...if it a win....

Price Master....for me.....Henne is just a cog in a wheel.....like Marshall...like Dansby...like the rest....

I wudn't get wrapped around Henne if I were you....keep your eye on the bigger picture...

the TEAM...

What if he(Ross) doesn't, redsky?

2012 the new fins begin, lets just end this year quickly as possible

Price Master...my sign in name is kris and ALWAYS will be.....

If by some small infantesimal.....Henne is still on this team....well....

Well...Then I would congradulate you.....

Thats is all.....

henne will be holding a clipboard next year as a third stringer some place

Not so fast, dusty bottoms, there are still things to find out.

like what? we know the entire staff is gone, least half the roster will be gone

How about Ross, dusty?

I have a feeling that Ireland will stay but Sparano will be gone. If that is the case I don't see a high profile coach taking the position. I can see Ross going after someone in the college scene. I rooting for former fin coach and now gator coach will muschamp. He is full of fire and intensity and has been successful everywhere he has coached. Crucify me now for my comments lol

By the way I'm rooting for Landry Jones in the next draft

no doubt this team will be 0-3 after this week. no confidence in their ability to turn it around. i've seen this too many times before. even the browns have a better team than the dolphins. i hope these players and coaches are happy with themselves. ross isn't going to like the money he's losing from the empty seats.

well yeah oscar but we cant

Our first 5 games are against NE, Hou, NYJ, SD & Cle.
4 of them are playoff teams.
Were we supposed to have won those games?
Cle, KC, Oak, Buf, Den are the teams we're supposed to beat.
I expect us to run up the score on the Browns. If I'm wrong I'll admit it in here Sunday afternoon.

NE has Wilfork, Haynesworth and Ellis on thier D-line and we put up 500+ yards on them.
Cle doesn't have those guys.
Nor has Colt McCoy been mistaken for Tom Brady.

And don't start talking about Fitzgerald from Buf. Let's see how he does against NE on Sunday.

Franchise of clowns.

Oscar if Ross doesn't change the FO and HC, then we are perennial losers!

Look PHINS loyalist.... I'm on your side I love my team but right bow the best thing for the PHINS is to continue loose, now read me out!! The more we loose the faster TS JI are out of here! The stadium will be empty and Ross will be force to fired TS and JI
So that's the best thing that can happen and if we have the worst record than we can pick a QB and trade Henne and pick up more draft picks!!! As far as Soili I believe he hasn't prove anything he has never started and he is not in the same league as Ngata Vince Wlifork To me he is not worth 12 mil a year!!

Whats Up Fin-Land???????

Ray, good post, I agree!

Ray, the best thing is certainly not for this team to lose, WTF is wrong with you? What fan wants his team to lose? You think some magic fairy coach is going to come here and make this team a SuperBowl winner? Don't work that way. If you get your wish this team will be dismantled, again, and it will be ANOTHER 5 years of rebuilding before you might see a winner, might. Dont get on here and say you live your team, cause you most certainly don't. A real fan would be pulling for this thing to finally click, not for another 5 years of misery. Get out of your fantasy world where you believe things will get magically better because they won't.

Henne can't be traded he's in the last year of his contract.
They either have to franchise him, tender him or just let him walk.

That's why the money as it relates to Solai, Henne and anyone else with a contract expiring is important.

Sticking with leaders that are proven losers, and plain stupid, is never the answer either.

Same old shyt Mr. Menace. A bunch of clowns who believe Cowher is going to come in and sprinkle SuperBowl Fairy Dust on this team and they are going to be great. It took Cowher 14 years to produce a SuperBowl in Pittsburg but somehow these m0rons believe it will take one season here.

Devils Advocate, Pittsburg stuck with Cowher for 14 years before he produced a SuperBowl, so I guess they are losers and idiots for sticking with him, huh??

CubanM, greetings to you and the Empress, most of us are pretty morose...oxymoron!

Giants must be idiots and losers sticking with Coughlin as long as they did to?

How about we bring back Saban or Cameron or maybe even Jimmy? They were OH so effective!!

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