The Miami Dolphins made the decision to use their franchise tag on DT Paul Soliai which seemed like a fairly logical move back in February but the move will ultimately cost them $12.2 million for the upcoming. Considering that the salary cap will set at $120 million, Soliai will account for just over 10% their entire payroll.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports mentions that the Dolphins will have to address this issue as soon as they can.
“Soliai was given the franchise designation by the Dolphins before the lockout,” Prisco writes. “That means they are on the hook for $12.2 million if he were to play under that designation. That’s way too much of the team’s $120-million cap. It’s especially too much for a nose tackle who had his best season at the right time. I like him as a player, but this will be a tough negotiation. The question is whether he is as good as he was a year ago, coming into his own, or a year when he exceeded expectations.”
The other issue that’s worth considering is that even if they lock him up for a more reasonable yearly salary, they still just locked up player that could quickly regress after having his first solid season in the NFL. I like Soliai just as Prisco does but is he the next B.J. Raji? Hard to say.
Jeff Darlington tweets that Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland hinted that Soliai’s conditioning could be an issue of concern for them so signing him to a longterm extension isn’t a foregone conclusion as of right now.