Impasse remains between Dolphins, Soliai

Written by Chris Kolb

Topics: AFC East, Miami Dolphins

One of the biggest reasons (literally and figuratively speaking) why Miami’s defense has been successful this season at shutting down opposing offenses has been the play of nose tackle Paul Soliai, who has come into his own after scuffling through his first three seasons.

Soliai has racked up 17 tackles and one sack in seven starts this year, but his mammoth size in the middle of the Dolphins defensive line has freed up the edges to rush opposing passers, leading to a dominant season from linebacker Cameron Wake, who’s put up monster numbers this year.

That has led Soliai and his representation to expect a hefty payday from the Dolphins front office in the negotiations the two sides have had as of late, but according to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, that isn’t a direction Miami is comfortable with as of right now.

The Dolphins have reportedly offered Soliai a small contract around $1 million per season, leaving the door open to Soliai departing in the off-season as a free agent, depending on how the collective bargaining agreement discussions work out next spring. Soliai is looking to receive at least $2.5 million a year, but isn’t likely to make more than the $1.9 million he would receive as a restricted free agent if a new deal between the league and the player’s association does not grant him the unrestricted free agent status he’s looking for.

Negotiations are likely to continue for the time being, as both sides have expressed a clear interest in extending Soliai’s contract with the Dolphins, and given the production they’ve seen as a result of his presence this year, Miami would be wise to find common ground sooner rather than later.

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