Contract Chatter
DT Paul Soliai
DT Paul Soliai
Associate Editor
Posted Jul 17, 2013


Three days before Dolphins players are scheduled to report for training camp, the only unfinished offseason business is a couple of contract situations. Those involve a couple of veterans, as well as first-round pick Dion Jordan.

Jordan, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, remains unsigned and the holdup appears to be the infamous "offset language." It's the same issue that caused Ryan Tannehill to miss the first day of camp last summer.

For those unfamiliar with the term, an offset clause means the player wouldn't get paid by his original team in the event he got cut before his contract expired and he was picked up by another team. Teams want the offset language in contracts; players don't want it.

In the end, the Dolphins got offset language in Tannehill's contract by making concessions in other areas, and it's fair to assume a similar scenario will play out with Jordan.

As for the veterans, the most pressing issue is that involving free agent fullback Vonta Leach. By all accounts, he's interested in playing for the Dolphins and the Dolphins are very much interested in him, but agreeing on terms has been a stumbling block so far.

For one thing, Leach apparently would like more than a one-year deal. The other teams said to be interested in Leach after two former teams — Houston and Baltimore, the latter being his team in 2012.

Finally, there's the situation at defensive tackle, where Randy Starks didn't get the long-term contract he desired before the deadline for franchise players Monday, meaning he'll be playing under the $8.5 million tender in 2013.

Starks will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next spring, as is the case with fellow defensive tackle Paul Soliai.

It's not unfair to suggest the Dolphins might wind up having to choose between those two next spring, especially given the depth they have at the position with free agent pick-up Vaughn Martin and 2010 first-round pick Jared Odrick, who spent the spring at defensive tackle after starting at defensive end last season.

Soliai's agent, David Canter, told the Palm Beach Post he was anticipating engaging in contract talks with the Dolphins during training camp. "I'm optimistic the team will come to us with a fair market deal to try to get it done," Canter told the newspaper. "If not, we’ll play it out.”


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