Miami Dolphins: Franchise Tag Placed on Nose Tackle Paul Soliai

Jason ClaryCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 4:  Defensive tackle Paul Soliai #96 of the Miami Dolphins sets for play against the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL Wildcard Playoff Game at Dolphins Stadium on January 4, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Miami has just made a great move by putting the franchise tag on nose tackle Paul Soliai.

Soliai had his best season for Miami during 2010, which was a contract year for the 355 pound defender.

This move comes after Soliai and the Dolphins were reportedly far apart on contract negotiations. It was rumored he would test free agency before accepting a deal to play again for Miami in 2011.

This gives Miami one less area to stress over during the offseason. It also allows Miami to keep a player that helped their defense improve immensely from 2009 to 2010.

At this point in time last year, Randy Starks was expected to make a move to nose tackle after Soliai had struggled to produce during his first three years in the league.

If Miami can re-sign Tony McDaniel, they will field a very deep group at defensive line next season. Also, Philip Merling and Jared Odrick should be regular contributors after injuries shortened their 2010 season.

The franchise tag placed on Soliai is a one-year contract worth $12.38 million. Although this yearly salary is more than Miami would have liked to pay, the move was made because Miami didn't want to part ways with an integral part of their defense.

While Soliai's numbers don't seem impressive, his main job is to plug up the middle, which he did extremely well in 2010.

This one-year contract also gives Miami one more year before they have to make a multi-year investment in him.