Through all the off-season garbage one of the biggest question marks surrounded the use of the “franchise” tag on NT Paul Soliai. Soliai had a very solid year last year. The issue was it simply was the only year since arriving in the NFL that he came close to breaking out. The Miami Dolphins had a choice to make, use their franchise tag and pay him 12 million for the season or risk losing him to free agency.
They obviously chose the tag route.
Over the first couple of years in the league, Soliai, the only remaining draft pick of Cam Cameron, reporte to camp overweight, had weight issues during the season, and each year barely made the final roster…let alone compete for a starting job. Injuries and the surprise retirement of Jason Ferguson last year thrust Soliai into more playing time. And he excelled.
This year many believed that Soliai would, without a structured off-season, return to his weighty issues. According to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel through Soliai’s agent David Canter, Soliai is in the best shape of his life and already at his playing weight of 342. Soliai has been working out in Utah with fellow NFL Polynesian players. He told Kelly that he has used his franchise tag as motivation instead of sitting on the big payday.
Good for him.
The Dolphins are going to need him to step up this season once again and if he does, the Dolphins will be handing out a big contract next year, if they don’t lock him down sometime before the season ends. I was not thrilled with the franchise tag use on Soliai. I thought it was a bit much for a one year…contract year…player. It’s nice to say that so far I am wrong. Keep it Soliai!