A simple Tweet from Dolphins reporter extraordinaire Omar Kelly gave us a bit of indigestion this week. At the same time, an update about Paul Soliai’s situation gave us hope.
All Kelly’s tweet said was that Vernon Carey is still walking with a noticeable limp. Okay, so the guy just had surgery a couple of months ago, right? Wrong. The Dolphins placed him on IR with three games left, but decided that he didn’t need to go under the knife. So more than two full months into his offseason and he’s still limping? Unless there was some secret operation performed, that has us very worried.
It’s no secret that Carey always eats his Wheaties, six bowls of them, with five scoops of sugar, three pats of butter and Reese’s Pieces on top. Vernon is also on the wrong side of 30. He’s got a lot of wear (he started an impressive 87 straight before this trip to IR) on tires that are carrying a pretty darned wide load. His weight fluctuates between 335 and 360lbs. He’s put in a lot of time in Davie, and this could very well be the start of a steep decline.
The next step could be a move to guard. It might be a smart idea to get him out of the way of speed rushers and instead let him work inside. Question is, if indeed his body is starting to fail him, how effective will he be at any position? Carey’s going to make an average of $5,000,000 a season over the next four, minus any fines for being overweight, per his contract. With that type of salary, Carey’s solid career in Miami could end sooner rather than later.
On the flip side, it looks like 355-lb nose tackle Paul Soliai is about to see a Vernon Carey-esque payday of his own. Also per Omar Kelly, the latest word from Soliai’s agent, David Canter, has us feeling good about The Mad Islander keeping his talents in South Beach.
Until a new CBA is reached Soliai’s 2011 salary can’t exceed his 2010 take by more than 30%. That would still leave him making less than a million a year, extremely low for a youngster who seems to be coming into his own, at a demand position like nose.
So all the Dolphins could do right now is offer Soliai some absurdly large signing bonus to offset that. Undoubtedly the Dolphins don’t want to make that leap. Soliai has had weight problems of his own, and the Sea Mammals wouldn’t want to guarantee such a huge portion of a contract if the guy may just park it at the Emerald Coast buffet for the next four years.
We’re absolutely, positively sure that Soliai’s agent understands their position. Canter described the Dolphins as “very aggressive”, and explains that there is a specific reason why the deal isn’t getting done.
We believe that reason is the 30% rule, and we believe once that’s out of the way Soliai will be given an extremely nice payday. However, the contract will also respect the fact that Soliai’s only been a beast for about 14 games, and will allow the Dolphins to spread their chips a little more evenly on the table.
One massive Dolphin heading for choppy waters, while another hopefully enters his glory days. We’re reminded of a famous saying:
“When God closes a 353lb door, he opens a 355lb window.”
Was that Ben Franklin? Confucius? Don Shula?
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose