Paul Soliai

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Paul Soliai
refer to caption
Soliai in 2014
No. 96, 90
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1983-12-30) December 30, 1983 (age 35)
Santa Ana, California
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:345 lb (156 kg)
Career information
High school:Pago Pago (AS) Nuuuli Poly Tech
College:Coffeyville Community College (2002-2003)
Utah (2004-2006)
NFL Draft:2007 / Round: 4 / Pick: 108
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:219
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:4
Player stats at

Paul Fuapapa Soliai (born December 30, 1983) is a former American football defensive tackle. He played college football at University of Utah. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers.

High school career[edit]

Soliai, of Samoan descent, attended Rancho Alamitos High School in Garden Grove before moving to American Samoa for his senior year, he attended Nu'uuli Technical High School in Pago Pago, American Samoa where he was team captain as a senior.

College career[edit]

Junior college[edit]

Soliai spend two seasons at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas. He was a two-time All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference offensive lineman. He earned an honorable mention All-American selection in 2002, and was a First-team junior college All-American as a sophomore in 2003.

Considered a four-star recruit out of junior college by, Soliai was listed as the No. 32 non-high school player in the nation.[1]


Soliai transferred to the University of Utah in 2004 and was redshirted his first season. He played in 12 games as a junior in 2005, with up five tackles, 1.5 of which were for a loss. He made four stops against rival Utah State, including an assisted tackle for a loss. He also had a 10-yard sack against Arizona.

In 12 games at nose guard as a senior in 2006, Soliai recorded 35 tackles (13 solo), 3.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks for 15 yards, four pass break-ups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick. He earned a Second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection.

Professional career[edit]

2007 NFL Draft[edit]

In April 2007, Soliai measured a height of 6-feet-4 and a weight of 332 pounds at his Utah Pro Day. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02seconds and 5.12 seconds, the short shuttle in 4.53 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.77 seconds. He measured a 30½-inch vertical jump, but an elbow sprain prevented him from doing the 225-pound bench press.

Prior to the draft, Soliai was praised for his rare size, strength, quickness and athleticism, while also being criticized for his lack of technique and moves.[2][3]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad Wonderlic
6 ft 4 in
(1.93 m)
344 lb
(156 kg)
5.02 s 1.63 s 2.86 s 4.53 s 7.66 s 30 12 in
(0.77 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
All values from NFL Combine, except for 40-yd dash (and splits), 20-ss, and vertical, which are from Utah Pro Day

Miami Dolphins[edit]

Soliai was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft, signing a four-year contract on June 7.

Before the NFL lockout, Soliai was franchise tagged by the Dolphins. Giving him a one-year guaranteed salary of at least $12 million, which is the average of the top 5 salaries at that position. This was made bloated by Albert Haynesworth record breaking $100 million contract from the Redskins.

On January 24, 2012, Soliai was added to the AFC Pro Bowl Roster to replace Ravens DT Haloti Ngata.[4]

On March 14, 2012, Soliai signed a 2-year extension with the Miami Dolphins worth $12 million, with $6 million guaranteed for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Soliai with the Falcons in 2014.

On March 11, 2014, Soliai agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons on a five-year, $33 million contract including $14 million guaranteed. In a week 8 game against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in London, Soliai was called for a holding penalty against Lions center Dominic Raiola. This penalty set up kicker Matt Prater for a game-winning 47 yard field goal, which he made, handing the Falcons a 22-21 loss and dropping them to a 2-5 record.[5] On December 29, 2015 Soliai was placed on injured reserve ending his season.[6]

On March 9, 2016, the Atlanta Falcons cut Soliai.[7]

Carolina Panthers[edit]

Soliai signed with the Carolina Panthers on March 14, 2016.[8]

On February 21, 2017, Soliai was released by the Panthers.[9]


On April 19, 2018, Soliai signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Dolphins.[10]


  1. ^ "Non High School Players 2004",, January 27, 2004
  2. ^ "Paul Soliai Profile", Sports Illustrated
  3. ^ "Paul Soliai Profile", Sporting News
  4. ^,0,5877561.story
  5. ^ Paul Soliai signs 5-year, $33M deal
  6. ^ "Paul Soliai heads to injured reserve". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  7. ^ "Falcons cut Paul Soliai with a post-June 1 designation". Retrieved 2016-03-10.
  8. ^ Panthers Sign DT Paul Soliai
  9. ^ Strickland, Bryan (February 21, 2017). "Panthers release Paul Soliai".
  10. ^ "Six Former Players Sign One Day Contracts". April 19, 2018.

External links[edit]