|One of the league's best nose tackles is staying in South Florida. (Getty Images)|
Two weeks ago, we listed Paul Soliai as our top free-agent defensive tackle. The Dolphins thought so much of him that they franchised him in 2011, but the two sides weren't able to agree on a long-term deal before free agency began Tuesday afternoon. No problem, it turns out: Soliai is reportedly returning to Miami.
Details via friend of EoF, the Palm Beach Post's Ben Volin.
Just confirmed that Paul Soliai is in fact coming back to the Dolphins. Definitely surprising given how little movement there was for awhile— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) March 14, 2012
More via Volin: "A source said Soliai signed a two-year deal, with an option third year, worth $18 million guaranteed (the total value of the contract is $24 million over three years)"
Soliai excelled as a run-stuffer in the Dolphins' 3-4 scheme and he's an integral cog in their defense. He was thought to be expendable with new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle possibly moving to a 4-3. Keeping Soliai could mean that Miami will use a hybrid scheme instead of committing to solely a 3-4 or 4-3 front. Rotoworld reports that at least six teams were interested in Soliai and he was scheduled a meet with the Broncos before the Dolphins came through with a new contract.
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