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Dolphins replace Paul Soliai with Earl Mitchell

Earl Mitchell

Houston Texans nose tackle Earl Mitchell (92) during the second half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Ed Zurga

While the Dolphins were awaiting work from Randy Starks, and as they wathed Paul Soliai walk out the door, they made sure they had a Plan B in place.

According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins locked up Texans defensive tackle Earl Mitchell with a four-year, $16 million deal, with $9 million guaranteed.

That’s a much smaller deal than Soliai got from the Falcons (five years, $33 million), for a younger player who was good against the run for the Texans.

While overshadowed by some of the bigger deals the Dolphins were making on the other side of the line (signing Branden Albert and trading Jonathan Martin), it was a solid piece for a defense that risked losing its anchors inside.