The Dolphins didn’t sign Randy Starks to a long-term deal before Monday’s deadline for franchise-tag recipients to sign such contracts, which means that both of their starting defensive tackles are on the path to unrestricted free agency after the season.
Reports out of Miami earlier this month were that there weren’t any contract talks going on with either Starks or Paul Soliai, the other defensive tackle with an expiring contract. Soliai’s agent David Canter expects that to change for his client in the near future, however.
“I’m optimistic the team will come to us with a fair market deal to try to get it done. If not we’ll play it out,” Canter said, via Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post. “One reason Randy has been so successful, Cameron Wake has been so successful, all the other guys on the front seven are so successful, a lot of it has to do with the big man up front. It all starts with him, he knows that, and he has accepted that role.”
The Dolphins will have a few different options available to them on the defensive line after the 2013 season. With Dion Jordan on hand to play end, Jared Odrick could kick inside to play tackle in the event that Starks or Soliai leaves the team or the Dolphins could wind up moving in a different direction altogether if the 2013 season doesn’t play out as hoped. It’s hard to see them keeping both of the veteran tackles, however, so being the first to land a deal could be the only way to guarantee a future in Miami.