Pete Prisco recently posted a column at CBS Sports linking one key free agent with each team, and Kansas City Chiefs fans will love the sound of Paul Soliai coming to Arrowhead. Prisco says the Chiefs have a major need at defensive tackle and that the former Miami Dolphins anchor would help in a major way.
Prisco summarizes, "They need a run stuffer in the middle of their defense. Soliai would bring that to a unit that needs it." That's a short way of saying that the Chiefs have no real options in the middle at this point, Kelly Gregg is getting old and could possibly retire. The team only has Anthony Toribio and Jerrelle Powe under contract and both players lack experience to even know what they have there. For the anchor point of the entire 3-4 defense, the Chiefs will need to do something at the point of attack.
Perhaps a draft choice like Devon Still or Dontari Poe will make a difference there, but Soliai is already one of the best paid defensive tackles on the market as he was franchised last year at nearly $12.5 million by the Dolphins. He's still young at 28 and made the Pro Bowl last season.
Pro Football Focus likes him and ranks him as the No. 36 free agent available this offseason. "2011 didn’t quite match 2010 in terms of production for Soliai who saw less playing time as the Dolphins got more sub packages involved in their defense. A valuable run defender who has shown some burst to get up field, Soliai is at the right age (28) and could fit into any defensive front."
Adding a player like Soliai would be a major win for the Chiefs in free agency, giving them more than a one-year stopgap at an all important position -- someone who is already experienced enough to take the Chiefs defense to the next level when it's already so promising.
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