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Five teams show interest in Paul Soliai

No, the Dolphins have not yet made a contract offer to retain pending free agent defensive tackle Paul Soliai, as The Herald first reported this morning. Neither have any other teams, according to league sources.

But here's the deal:

Five teams have shown interest in Soliai in recent days. And at least two of those teams are quite serious about adding Soliai once free agency begins March 11, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Those teams made their interest known during the Indianapolis Combine.

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, that's tampering.)

Oh, gallery how naive you are. While it is technically tampering, it would never be investigated because every team is spending time at the Combine talking to agents and asking those agents about their clients' mindset and general parameters to gauge the cost of signing those clients. And everyone is doing that.

And Soliai, a run-stuffing defensive tackle who has played both in the 3-4 and 4-3, is drawing as much interest as anyone.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, are taking a lukewarm approach to retaining Soliai -- and, frankly, many of their pending free agents. The Dolphins do not appear moved by the idea of their free agents hitting the market.

That includes Soliai, Randy Starks, Brent Grimes, Nolan Carroll, John Jerry and others. Indeed, some of those players will almost definitely not be returning to the Dolphins.

Although no contracts can be negotiated now, teams will be able to begin talking to free agents before free agency begins. The negotiation window opens March 8. Although no contract can be signed before March 11, several players will have deals in place before then because of the open negotiation window.