#2: Loser: DT Randy Starks
After putting together quite a nice season for the Dolphins (27 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception), DT Randy Starks was slapped with the franchise tag this off-season ($8.45 Mill). Seems silly, right? The verdict is still out.
Starks has been a huge reason why Miami’s run defense has been one of the league’s best for three straight seasons while teaming with DT Paul Soliai. Both Starks and Soliai are big bodies whom clog the middle and force runs outside.
Miami also benefits from Starks’ unique athletic ability for a 6’3”, 305 pound man. Over his five season tenure with Miami, Starks has shown the athletic prowess to consistently apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks tallying 21 sacks.
Starks is now holding out for a long-term contract, which is honestly what he deserves. BUT, General Manager Jeff Ireland is likely trying to hold off on offering Starks a long-term deal until the tail end of the 2014 season.
Simply put, both Starks and Soliai will be free agents once the 2014 season concludes. Ireland already has a nice crop of defensive tackles with Vaughn Martin, Kheeston Randall, and Jared Odrick. That being said, Ireland realizes he must obtain one of his stalwart defensive tackles. While the popular choice would be Starks, do not be surprised if Ireland opts to roll the dice with the big Samoan.