Before the Lockout started, the Miami Dolphins placed a $12 mil franchise tag on their monster NT, Paul Soliai. We, like many of you, were very excited to hear over the weekend that Soliai is working hard despite being lockout of the Dolphins facility. From what we understand, Soliai is weighing in at 342 lbs, right around the playing weight that Tony Sparano would like him to be at. We hope Paul continues to build upon the improvement he showed in 2010. He was a force to be reckoned with on the interior of the Dolphins defensive line.
However, keep in mind that while Paul is working hard to ‘earn’ his $12 mil in 2011, he is also working hard to ‘earn’ a long term contract from Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins. The $12 mil contract he signed is a 1 year deal, meaning that Soliai will need to show in 2011 that he can maintain the high level he played at in 2010. The Dolphins would be wise to hold off on a long term deal until at least mid-way through the 2011 season, making Paul prove that he’s worth the investment. We like Soliai a lot, don’t get us wrong, but he’s a player that has had weight issues and motivational issues in the past…..So if you give a player like that a big, long term deal, he could slip into his old habits.
We’re excited to see what Paul can do in 2011 for the Dolphins because he has the size and strength to demand double teams, which will free up other defenders to stop the run or get to the quarterback. We just hope he continues to improve and show the consistency that made him so good last season. A dominating Soliai in the middle will allow Randy Starks to move to the DE position, only to spell Soliai on obvious passing downs inside. This creates a great DE rotation of Kendall Langford, Randy Starks, and last year’s first round pick for the Dolphins, Jared Odrick.