Atlanta Falcons sign DT Paul Soliai

What’s with the Falcons committing all this money to pure run stoppers? I understand they need to improve their run defense, but they also need to add pass rushers. Not only are Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai not pass rushers, but they’re actually liabilities on passing plays. They played a combined 493 pass snaps last season and for good reason. Now the Falcons have given them each 5-year deals that have a combined total value of 58 million dollars with 25 million guaranteed. This one might be even worse than the Tyson Jackson deal. Part of that is because the max value is 8 million dollars more, though they’re both highly unlikely to ever see all that money. Part of it is because Soliai is going into his age 31 season.

Soliai, like Jackson, had a solid season this year, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ 20th ranked defensive tackle, including 16th in run grade, as a part-time player on 526 snaps. However, he graded out as roughly a league average player in a part-time role in both 2011 and 2012 and, even in 2010, when he had another solid year, it was as a part-time player, grading out as ProFootballFocus’ 12th ranked defensive tackle, including their 8th ranked in run grade. Either the Falcons think that both the Chiefs and Dolphins were originally using Jackson and Soliai incorrectly as part-time players and that they can get more out of them, or the Falcons decided $5-6.5 million yearly for part-time/base package players was a solid value. I don’t think either of those things are accurate.

Grade: C-




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