The Carolina Panthers as they have in years past have decided to wait until the second week to begin scheduling free agent visits. The first name on that list is defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who is visiting with the team according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Soliai was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft and played the first seven years of his career for the AFC team, earning one Pro Bowl appearance in 2012. The past two seasons though he has played for the Atlanta Falcons after the team signed him to a five-year deal worth $33 million. However, the Falcons decided to cut Soliai last week.
The Panthers need depth at defensive tackle with Dwan Edwards being cut and Kyle Love being a free agent however Soliai doesn't fit the typical tackle the Panthers look for. He has never been known for his pass rushing ability (only 5.5 sacks for his career) and is more of a run-stuffing defensive tackle. That's why he seems more suited to play as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense versus the Panthers' 4-3 defense.
The other question is what kind of contract Soliai is looking for. One of the reasons he is a free agent is that he was unwilling to take a pay cut with the Falcons, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.
The fact that he has never shown an ability to get up field quickly and get to the quarterback makes the Panthers' interest a little surprising. However, if they believe a reduction in playing time could make him more effective in this area, along with his run-stuffing ability, he could fill the void left by the release of Edwards.