Like many players given franchise tags, Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks stayed away from voluntary work this offseason as part of an attempt to wrangle a long-term contract.
That effort was unsuccessful as the July 15 deadline for a multi-year extension passed without any deal in Miami, leaving Starks to play this year for $8.45 million and try for a longer contract after the season comes to an end. Starks is going to be making that bid off the bench to start the season, something he thinks is related to his absence from OTAs earlier this year.
“I’ve been there before,” Starks said, via Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I’m not going to say nothing bad about it. It is what it is. I wasn’t here so I guess this is my punishment.”
Starks also missed a lot of camp with a leg injury, so there could be more than one explanation for why the team has chosen to go with Jared Odrick and Paul Soliai at the time being. Either way, it’s hard to fault a team for going with the guys that have been on the field. Starks said he’s not upset about the situation, pointing out that he had successful seasons in the past while coming off the bench and that the Dolphins figure to play him roughly the same amount as they play Odrick and Soliai up front.
That trio, plus defensive ends Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon and, the Dolphins hope, Dion Jordan gives the Dolphins a lot of depth and strength on the defensive line, which figures to be the driver of any defensive success the team has in the 2013 season.