The deadline for signing franchised players to long-term deals passed yesterday without the Dolphins and nose tackle Paul Soliai coming to an agreement.
Soliai’s agent David Canter joined Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald on Salguero’s radio show Wednesday to talk about why a deal didn’t get done. Canter’s take on the negotiations makes it seem like the two sides never came particularly close to a deal because, per Canter, they were “basically in completely different mindsets.”
Canter said that the Dolphins offered a deal running through 2014 worth in the neighborhood of $8 million per year. There was $6 million in new guaranteed money as part of that offer, a number that Canter balked at while asking for $18 million in new guarantees beyond this season. As Salguero points out, the Dolphins clearly viewed this year’s $12.4 million as part of a new deal while Canter rejected the idea that this year’s franchise tag should be seen part of a new contract.
The offer put forth by Canter was in line with the contract that the Browns gave Ahtyba Rubin earlier this month. Rubin got $18 million in guaranteed money from 2012-2014 and his career arc makes for a pretty good comparison to Soliai. There’s precedent for the Dolphins offer as well. When Vince Wilfork signed his extension with the Patriots before last season, he did it with the franchise money essentially being part of the $25 million guaranteed him over the life of the deal. Wilfork is also set to make $8 million per year in his deal.
Wilfork had a longer resume at the time of that deal compared to Soliai, who has just one year as a full-time starter under his belt.
Soliai hasn’t been overly impressive in the first two games of the season, but, barring a serious injury, it is hard to imagine that he won’t have several teams after him if he hits the open market after this year.