As the Falcons continue to remake their defense to fit the scheme implemented a year ago by coach Dan Quinn, the Falcons will be moving on from defensive lineman Paul Soliai.
Per a league source, the Falcons will release Soliai on or after March 9, the start of the new league year.
Soliai’s role reduced significantly after former coach Mike Smith and former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan departed, making his contract harder to justify. Soliai is due to earn a base salary of $5 million in 2016.
Upon the arrival of Quinn, the Falcons switched to primarily a one-gap philosophy on the defensive line, with an emphasis on getting up the field quickly. Soliai was better suited to their prior system.
The cap hit arising from the looming departure of Soliai will be $1.4 million this year and $2.8 million in 2017, if the move is processed as a post-June 1 release. (Teams can apply that designation to up to two players per year.) If the Falcons don’t use the June 1 designation, they’ll absorb the full cap charge of $4.2 million in 2016.
Soliai signed a five-year, $32 million contract with the Falcons in March 2014. He spent seven seasons before that with the Dolphins.