The Miami Dolphins have plenty of cap room and little need to re-work contract. That apparently includes franchise tagged DT Randy Starks. According to recent reports the Dolphins and reps for Starks have not discussed a new contract. Starks is set to make between 6 and 8 million on the tag in 2013 (frankly because I am simply too tired to look up the actual number at this point). On July 15th teams may no longer negotiate new contracts with tagged players.
In other words if the NFL offices close up shop on the afternoon of the 15th and they don’t have a new contract faxed to them, the Dolphins will be on the hook for the 2013 tag amount. Which it seems at this point they are prepared to do. The Dolphins played the same game a few years ago with NT Paul Soliai when the opted to not re-work a new contract with him. Soliai played out his tagged season and the Dolphins signed him to a two year deal shortly before the start of the free agency period.
Starks has repeatedly said he wants to remain in Miami but he is pushing to move on the older side of 30 and it’s not certain the Dolphins want to invest long term in a player who would be on the downward slide of his career in a couple of years. Starks is a stout run defender but he hasn’t made the upward push off the line to collapse the passing pocket that the Dolphins had hoped for. He is very good as an anchor on the defensive front however and the Dolphins will find it hard to replace him should he leave in 2014.
For now, it’s a staring game but that game ends on the 15th regardless of who turns away first.