Will Miami make late push for Soliai?

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
12:20
PM ET
NFL free agency is set to start in two weeks, and the Miami Dolphins' best defensive lineman -- Paul Soliai -- is close to hitting the open market.

But Soliai's agent, David Canter, told ESPN's Josina Anderson Wednesday that Miami can still make a last-minute push to keep the 2011-12 Pro Bowler.
"Paul's situation is unique, but they know where we stand. We're optimistic that they will make a big push for him. However, I don't think they can keep him if they don't offer him a long-term deal, but they know that. Miami has a chance to re-sign him if they get aggressive and give him the deal that they know we will take."

Credit Canter for staying open-minded, but it looks like Soliai is a goner. The two sides have tried to work out a long-term extension without any result for more than a year. It would be a surprise if the Dolphins changed their tune in the next two weeks.

It also doesn't help that Miami has new leadership at head coach (Joe Philbin) and defensive coordinator (Kevin Coyle). The Dolphins' defense will implement more 4-3 concepts next season, which doesn't play to Soliai's strengths as a classic 3-4 nose tackle.

Soliai is a good player who will get his money and the type of contract he deserves. But it most likely won't come from the Dolphins.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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