Pro Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks will be a free agent at the end of this season after Miami declined to offer him a long-term offer. Starks was one of eight NFL players to receive the franchise-tag designation this offseason. Starks sat out offseason OTAs in protest of not receiving a long-term deal but he returned for minicamp. Denver offensive tackle Ryan Clady was the only one of the eight players to sign a long-term deal before the league’s Monday deadline for franchise-tag players to sign beyond the 2013 season. Starks turns 30 at the end of this season. Miami’s new regime cut talented but aging linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett this offseason to sign younger and quicker linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler so the coaching staff wants youth on its roster. In addition to Starks being a free agent after this season, fellow defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who is two weeks older than Starks, will also be a free agent. Despite earning his second Pro Bowl bid, Starks ranked just 38th among the league’s defensive tackles and nose tackles in Pro Football Focus’ advanced player statistics. Soliai ranked 49th. Miami could let one or both players walk after the season and sign younger players in the offseason. The Dolphins could also move defensive end Jared Odrick to tackle. Odrick was a defensive tackle in college and rookie Dion Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, will be expected to start at defensive end by next season. Starks and his representatives were unable for comment. Soliai’s agent, David Canter, told The Palm Beach Post that he’s “very optimistic that Paul will remain a Miami Dolphin for a long time” and that he expects the Dolphins to approach him about midway through training camp with a new offer. “I’m optimistic the team will come to us with a fair market deal to try to get it done,” Canter said. “If not we’ll play it out.” Canter said he believes Soliai, who received the franchise tag in 2011 and then signed a two year deal with Miami, should have received the Pro Bowl bid last year.
Agent expects new deal for Dolphins' DT Paul Soliai
Palm Beach Post | Jul 17