Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While the Miami Dolphins spent big money to bring back nose tackle Paul Soliai, the defensive line took a big hit Saturday when defensive end Kendall Langford signed on with the St. Louis Rams.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Langford’s new contract is for four-years and will pay him as much as $24 million with $12 million of that salary guaranteed.
Langford is an extremely versatile defensive lineman who could line up at either defensive end in a 3-4 scheme or defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme. Langford will likely be moved to defensive tackle in St. Louis.
It’s long been thought Miami was moving primarily to a 4-3 defense, but the signing of Soliai put that into question since he’s more of a 3-4 nose tackle. Losing Langford hurts Miami’s depth and takes away a starter from a solid defense in 2011.
Miami still has Soliai, Tony McDaniel, Jared Odrick, and Randy Starks to rotate through the defensive tackle position in a 4-3, or Soliai at nose and McDaniel, Odrick, and Starks rotating through at defensive end in a 3-4.
Miami’s biggest question if it carries through with a switch to a 4-3 base defense will be who is the pass rusher opposite Cameron Wake, who would likely be moved to one of the defensive end positions.
There are some quality pass rushers available in the 2012 draft, but much of the decision on whether to use a first round pick on a pass rusher will be decided after the Fins find out about Matt Flynn and any other potential free agents.