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Starks to be Dolphins franchise player ... what that means

The Miami Dolphins intend to place the franchise tag on defensive tackle Randy Starks.

It is not a surprise. Indeed, it is the only logical move the team could make as the team's other looming free agents -- Sean Smith, Brian Hartline, Jake Long -- either would have been too expensive to tag or can be easily replaced this coming season if they play elsewhere.

Starks will be on the books for up to $8.4 million. That comes directly off Miami's salary cap space, which is now around $37 million. That is still enough to tender restricted players, sign draft picks and sign or re-sign a full complement of free agents.

A note: Did I mention Sean Smith is not Miami's franchise player? Seems that so-called report that said Smith would be tagged was as erroneous as I've been telling you.

Anyway, there will be fallout from the Dolphins action today.

First, Starks is not happy. He didn't want a one-year tag. He wants a multi-year contract. He may still get it as the two sides can continue to discuss such a deal, but much of his leverage is effectively removed because free agency is no longer a viable option.

Secondly, expect Jake Long and Sean Smith to hit free agency. The club has talked with both players and that has led to, well, no deal with either. Both players have a very high regard for themselves (which is good) while the team has a more realistic regard for them (which is also good). In plain English that means both Smith and Long expect to make much more in the open market than the Dolphins have been discussing.

The market is the tiebreaker. The players will go into the market to determine their value. The Dolphins want both back but at their price. The players want their price. I would say the chances of Long returning to Miami are much better than Smith.

Smith is eager for the start of free agency so that he can "get paid," according to a source. That is his priority. He doesn't as much care where he plays as he does about being paid playing there. The Dolphins believe they can replace Smith with a comparable if not better player either in free agency (more expensive) or the draft (much, much less expensive).

I would say cornerback is a major need for the Dolphins now as they traded away their best cornerback, Vontae Davis, last year and are about to lose the other starter of the tandem Davis once crowed was the best in the NFL.

Long?

He doesn't want to take a pay cut. And considering he made $11.2 million last year, that's saying something. The Dolphins meanwhile are looking around the NFL and seeing that the price for outstanding left tackles is more in the $8-$9 million annual range. Assuming that goes up a little bit, I'd say it's probable the market will have to determine Long's worth.

The Dolphins still want Long back -- probably moreso than they want Smith back. They see Long as a quality player whose play falters when he gets injured. They see Smith as an inconsistent player even when healthy.

On Hartline, the sides continue to talk. Agent Drew Rosenhaus is nothing if not persistent. Hartline wants to remain in Miami and believes he has a chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. But he also wants $6 million per season.

Obviously, the Dolphins have so far resisted this price point. Both sides at this point believe something can get done before the start of free agency.

It is possible the Dolphins might decide paying $8 million for another, more accomplished wide receiver such as Greg Jennings is better than paying $6 million to Hartline. The Dolphins are almost certain to chase Mike Wallace as their top free agency target, as well.

 

 

Comments

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Mark, I agree with WNP @ 12:13pm. You guys hold Odrick in too high regard. Frankly, I believe the team thinks he's the expendable one (not because he doesn't have talent, but his talent is more geared for a 3-4 defense, not a 4-3).

I think this move signifies the Dolphins want to maintain the ONE good thing they have going for them, which is a solid defensive front 7. Losing Starks would jeopardize that unit and create ANOTHER hole to plug. And reality is all those holes CAN'T be plugged in 1 year. But Ireland is under the gun to put together a + .500 team THIS year, so this was the right move.

Now we concentrate on our FAs we want to retain, signing other FAs to bring in more talent, then the Draft to get anything that was missed by either.

I can't complain about this move (MUCH better decision than tagging Long).

DC,

I know it's early but Ireland MIGHT not be a complete idiot after all. Right now--other than Dansby who is definitely overpaid--there's not a player under contract who is making too much money based on performance & that wasn't the case in 2012 with both Long & Bush.

Here's the next question. Is Millner worth moving UP to get?

Playmakers,

Wow OK. So, he hasn't played 4-3 DT in the pros? I beg to differ. Miami was utilizing multiple fronts, especially last year under Coyle. He was used OFTEN as a DT in the 4-3 nickel.

Also, Odrick was a 4-3 DT at PSU. He can play DT. When they drafted him, he was listed at 305 lbs. Starks is also around 305 lbs.

Maybe if he didn't play the position in College your argument would hold water. Considering that's what he was in College, your assertion that he has to be a 4-3 DE doesn't make any sense.

Lastly, it's once & for all, not once in for all. Respectfully.

Posted by: LOL | March 04, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Did it before I could. Just not sure how he would hold up in run support but he can play DT

Here's the next question. Is Millner worth moving UP to get?

Posted by: DC Dolfan | March 04, 2013 at 12:28 PM

NO

Good cover corner that I don't overly like in an attacking 4-3 scheme. more of a cover 2 or 3-4 corner (bigger stronger corner that help more in run support)

6m For Hartline is a bit on the high side. Hes not a game changing receiver. I just hope NE dont pick him up in FA. Ive a got a sick feeling they may make a run at him. I hope Long gets signed by anyone but the Dolphins. He is too injury proned when its crunch time. I think hes a great player but just dont want to depend on him.

right on Vince

So a few weeks back, Armando posted a column about trading Orick and most of us laughed at him for it, me included. I'm actually warming up to the idea. First of all I like Odrick but I want more out of the DE spot. 5 or so sacks just isn't enough from the big guy and yes I realize he does other things as well. so you're going to argue that he doesn't make much money. Agreed. But neither would a first or second round pick. You're going to argue that there wouldn't be much of a market for a guy like Odrick. But we don't know that. Which I think was Armando's point.

So I'd like to apologize to Armando on here publicly and say, I now get what you were trying to say and I get your logic. If the return was there I would look at trading Odrick, draft weekend.

Hartline will probably get around 4.5 million a year which is pretty damn good.

This buys both sides negotiating time on a contract. Plus Odrick is dropping 20 pounds to get quicker and should help his health due to less stress on his joints mostly his legs . Maybe ireland doesnt see a pass rusher in the draft he is certain on and this series of moves is a way to kill two birds with one stone ie outside pass rush and inside run defense. Wasn't Starks going through personal issues last year that affected his play? I

Wow OK. So, he hasn't played 4-3 DT in the pros? I beg to differ. Miami was utilizing multiple fronts, especially last year under Coyle. He was used OFTEN as a DT in the 4-3 nickel.

Also, Odrick was a 4-3 DT at PSU. He can play DT. When they drafted him, he was listed at 305 lbs. Starks is also around 305 lbs.

Maybe if he didn't play the position in College your argument would hold water. Considering that's what he was in College, your assertion that he has to be a 4-3 DE doesn't make any sense.

Lastly, it's once & for all, not once in for all. Respectfully.

LOL,

He was OFTEN in the 4-3??? Not true. First of Kheeston Randall was being used as a rotational DT until McDaniel was healthy enough to play as a rotational DT.

And as for playing 4-3 in college??? There's a slight difference in the size, speed, & strength of the opponent week in & week out in the NFL. His best fit is probably as a 3-4 DE.

BTW--It doesn't matter if Odrick is the same weight as Starks. The position requires a certain skill set that the coaches MUST feel that Odrick doesn't possess which is why he wasn't moved inside & instead they chose to franchise Starks.

"...Wasn't Starks going through personal issues last year that affected his play?"


Sammo,

That's true. His mother was sick & she eventually passed away in the end of December.

I feel this to be a smart move. Starks cannot HARDLY be upset about a $8.4 Million payday. And Miami gets to move forward on Offensive players or sack masters without needing to burn a high draft pick on a DT.
Miami did this with Paul Soliai and it was a great deal for both parties. Paul played well and got a two year deal.
Say whatever you will about Jeff Ireland, but he has managed to keep Miami's roster from turning into a old folks home, while still keeping the developmental experience here.Starks gets a one year payday and a one year audition for a contract that will have him finishing his career in Miami,

The top-tier wideouts are going to be expensive for a reason. In a league leaning heavily on the pass, a receiver like Wallace or Bowe can inject life into an offense. You still see too many overpaid wideouts vanish in the wrong scheme. Beyond Welker at No. 4, you're looking at role players. The March buzz surrounding this group will give way to the truth in September: Most are available for a reason.
Fabiano: WRs are fantasy bait
Receivers are gaining in fantasy value and Michael Fabiano writes that the crop from this year's Combine possesses intrigue. More ...

This year's draft class is a factor. Plenty of young, developmental pass-catchers will be available out of college and that's a better option than overpaying for a reclamation project.

BTW--Not all of that cap money is necessarily going to be used in a shopping spree. I'm sure Ireland would like to address extensions for Reshad Jones & perhaps some other current players.

"...Say whatever you will about Jeff Ireland, but he has managed to keep Miami's roster from turning into a old folks home, while still keeping the developmental experience here.Starks gets a one year payday and a one year audition for a contract that will have him finishing his career in Miami."

Breeze,

I agree but now it's time to win games.

WNP, where do you get your opinion that Odrick is not an inside player? In fact, he played more inside than out in his career. He was a 4-3 DT in college, a 3-4 end in the NFL (which is a 4-3 DT in substance), he was used inside in passing downs last year.

Furthermore, why pay $14M for your DTs when nobody runs the ball anymore? This is Parcellian. You may pay for one clogger, but two? I don't like it. I like my high money guys to sack the QB or intercept him. In addition, both your starters are going to be UFA's after next year. Where's the foresight here? This should be a year of transition in the interior of that defense.

BOOO to this move!!

Mark in Toronto, Are you serious. You cant be a phins fan. You hate Ireland, Ok, We all get that,over and over and over and over you come on here and say ANYTHING negative about any decision made about this club to what? Prove you think you know more than Ireland does. Are you just bored? How bout saying 8 mil for a probowl player alleviates one less hole to fill. Starks was a surplus? No, he is a PROBOWLER. Idiot. He would have signed for more than that from any team in FA. There is a reason why you are not a GM of a professional football team and Mr Ireland is. So, lighten up francis and let the man work.

You don't win games in free agency, ask the eagles ...... (that hurt for me to say about a team I like but hey) Shame report! Shame Philly!

DC @ 12:28, definitely not!!!

Mando, you were totally correct on Sean Smith. Things like that is the reason I read you and don't even bother with the idiots pretending to be reporters.

I've been playing Call of Duty with Smith for years. Even when he was in Utah. I'll miss knowing I'm on the front lines with a Dolphin. Keep Puttin in Work Sean!

Odrick doesnt have the strength to be a full time DT . He reminds me of a more athletic but physically weaker jeff zognina sp?

Keeping Starks is a good decision. He's too good to let go, and we were able to kill against the run last season. 8 mil isn't that bad of a deal for a franchise tag. Hopefully he signs a 3 or 4 year deal and takes a little cut overall.

WNPM.... I agree with your retort... We DO NEED to start winning games. No free pass for Ireland from me. If he "scrooze the Pooch" on this off season... he'll need armed security to get out of Miami alive....

AND....... to reply to your post...

BTW--Not all of that cap money is necessarily going to be used in a shopping spree. I'm sure Ireland would like to address extensions for Reshad Jones & perhaps some other current players.

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | March 04, 2013 at 12:43 PM
-------------------------------------
I agree again. Looking around the league and watching franchises ask players to restructure contracts and seeing quality players being cut for money, not for performance deficiencies is a result of poor financial planning. Just I think some feel teams are brilliant for wringing money out of restructured contracts so they can go fishing in Free Agency....I disagree. A restructured contract is just like a second mortgage on your house, the payment may be a bit lower, you may get temporary relief... But you still have to pay up. Miami should be targeting contracts like Jones, Tannehill (should he pan out), Pouncey (just around the corner) and Cam Wake. Sock some cash away so that when it comes due... They don't have to mortgage the farm to keep them.

Now the great ignorance of anonymous voices accuses me of being an Ireland basher ... yeah, that's first.

Get a real sign in name, come here more often and educate your self Sally.

I don't have to agree with everything the team does. And I definitely don't agree here. And it won't be long before Mando writes a post on how much the Dolphins are spending on two interior players who don't cause turnovers or sack the QB all that much. Odrick would've provided better sack numbers inside at a fraction of the cost IMO.

Just I think some feel teams are brilliant for wringing money out of restructured contracts so they can go fishing in Free Agency

Great English by me... huh?.... Please ignore "Just" in that sentence... Thank you......

"Odrick doesnt have the strength to be a full time DT . He reminds me of a more athletic but physically weaker jeff zognina sp?"

LOL@Sammo. Pretty good description. For the record I liked Zgonina better than Odrick. We've had some good interior lineman in Miami over the last 10-15 years.

Well, there it is. It is known that this FA group is stacked with good Players so probably that's the way Ireland will go to replace Long and SS but NOT Hartline. I believe he will be signed.

"Furthermore, why pay $14M for your DTs when nobody runs the ball anymore? This is Parcellian. You may pay for one clogger, but two? I don't like it. I like my high money guys to sack the QB or intercept him. In addition, both your starters are going to be UFA's after next year. Where's the foresight here? This should be a year of transition in the interior of that defense."

BOOO to this move!!

Mark,

First off--know that I value your opinions BUT are you high???? No one runs the ball anymore??? Really??? How about the Niners, the Texans, the Seahawks, the Vikings, the Redskins, & the Patriots??? Yes even the Patriots.

The teams that don't run the ball enough include the Lions, the Packers, the Giants, the Colts, the Steelers, & the Falcons. All of these teams would be better IF they did.

Wasnt ong a human turnstile last year?
And He wants How Much?

So I'm just talking out loud here....

What if the Starks move was made as insurance on the line. For example, what if the team decides they like John Abraham more as a DE and they decide after all this to move Odrick inside? Can they rescind the offer to Starks if he hasn't signed it yet?

I get what mark is saying. He wants more turnovers from the defence. I agree (not saying I agree with his stance on the Starks tagging). I heard a stat on the weekend, Mark that said Abraham has something like 42 takeaways in his careers. THAT'S a guy I want on my team and what this team is missing right now.

To me this is the safe play right now (tagging Starks), maybe just not the move that helps us get better.

Zgonina better than Odrick? Ok, now I know someone just doesn't see Odrick anywhere close to the way I see him at all...

"I don't have to agree with everything the team does. And I definitely don't agree here. And it won't be long before Mando writes a post on how much the Dolphins are spending on two interior players who don't cause turnovers or sack the QB all that much. Odrick would've provided better sack numbers inside at a fraction of the cost IMO."

LOL@Mark. Great post & I can DEFINITELY see Mando writing that article if we don't get Wallace. Talk about a serious man-crush....Ha!

This should finally put to rest the Odrick to dt lunacy. Kevin Coyle came out and said just before the ed of the season lasty year. He wasnt exactly enthued with Odrick playing inside.

Yet some here continued to try and peg Odrick at dt. I guess youses know a whole lot more about where Odrick should be playing than dc Kevin Coyle does. The guy who sees him in practice everyday vs armchair idiots who dont really pay that close attention to Odrick even on footbal Sundays.

Yeah, lets move Odrick inside and watch our oponents blow our doors down thru the middle of our defense on Sundays. Im sure you would vindicate yourselves by screaming for Kevin Coyle's head. LOL...

It means we need an OT ASAP. We can't get one of three prospects considered elite in the draft by picking #12 overall. I guess UFA could be the immediate answer. Should Dolphins hire Loadholt to play RT this season and move him to RG next year? or get Sam Baker???

Mike,

We don't need more WR's. We need better WR's. Hartline and Bess are good WR's but we still better WR's.

... still NEED better WR's.

Zgonina better than Odrick? Ok, now I know someone just doesn't see Odrick anywhere close to the way I see him at all...

Mark,

All I know is anyone that plays in the NFL for 17 seasons deserves a pin or something right??? And I don't mean FG kickers or Punters. That guy was a freaking warrior!!!

After he played with the Dolphins he still went on & played another 3 years with the Texans??? That's absurd. He was playing Dlineman in the NFL @ 39 years old!!!

POST OF TH FKING DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"We don't need more WR's. We need better WR's. Hartline and Bess are good WR's but we still NEED better WR's."

Posted by: mileshredder | March 04, 2013 at 01:15 PM

Hdrashock,

ALL should be possibilities in my opinion. Only thing I would say is, Baker was ranked as something like the 27th tackle in the NFL last year. I'm not a big fan of these ranking things but I gotta figure this guy isn't as good as a lot of people make him out to be when I hear that and the fact that Dimitroff appears to be letting him hit FA.

Just read that the Titans will probably not franchise Jared Cook since he will win his argument that he is a WR due to how many snaps he played in the slot last year. After Wallace i think Cook should be next on the Dolphins hit list. He was way underutilized as a Titan and is young and a freakish talent.

From PFT: @ProFootballTalk: Report: Hartline, Dolphins think they can get deal done before free agency opens http://t.co/95B6IaBs4X

Good grief. I've been waiting all weekend for the Dolphins to announce that were tagging Starks.

Now that thay have people are complaining. It just goes to show you can't make everyone happy.

Starks is a heck of a run stopper and a team leader. He also had 4 sacks last year which isn't too shabby from an interior lineman.

Obviously a contract in the 6/7 per range would be better but the man and his agent know they have leverage. Qualilty d-lineman are a commodity.

...I get what mark is saying. He wants more turnovers from the defence. I agree (not saying I agree with his stance on the Starks tagging). I heard a stat on the weekend, Mark that said Abraham has something like 42 takeaways in his careers. THAT'S a guy I want on my team and what this team is missing right now."

It wouldn't hurt. Abraham is an awesome player. In fact he has been for a LONG time & I was very pleased when the Jets traded him to the Falcons. Obviously you want a DE that can do the things he does. Playing opposite Wake would make it a LONG day for opposing QB's.

smith = punk
bh, when wallace is 1 and the rook is #2 how many yds. do u think u'r gonna get?
380 maybe.
lol

The Irish Man said it, Starks is an integral cog of the DLine. Probably the strongest there for his weight, he can play inside or outside with equal effectiveness. Good move. Now, keep him happy.

From PFT: @ProFootballTalk: Report: Hartline, Dolphins think they can get deal done before free agency opens http://t.co/95B6IaBs4X

Bobby,

Thank G-D that report on us franchising Jake Long on WFAN was wrong....

Dumb move. Lock the guy up for a couple of years. They can carry over unused cap into the following season right? So why use all of our cap this year if the FA crop is solid yet isn't spectacular? Sign Starks for 6m a year and save that money for either next season or other FAs. Chances are we aren't toppling either New England or Denver this season so why go all out.

Marc has a great point: 1) this isn't a running league anymore and 2) Starks and Solai are FAs after next season. After next season we'll also need a new LB core. This means that in 2014 we will need:

DL, DE, LB possibly CB or safety if we don't address CB this year and Jones isn't signed long term. RB if Miller doesn't pan out. OL if we don't find Long's replacement or fill the holes. And that doesn't count WR or TE cause I'm assuming Ireland is smart enough to finally solve those issues

AND

that doesn't take into account Tannehill's play. If he falters and takes a Mark Sanchize step backwards then we're really in a hole....

As Armando blogged earlier, I still think there's a great chance Odrick gets traded before the season begins at the right value.

Move Odrick inside? What are you guys smoking. By your rationale, every "3-4 DE" in the league should transition smoothly into the dt spot. Odrick is a 3-4 DE people. We no longer play a 3-4 and Odrick is not a 4 down nfl dt. He's not a great pass rusher either, becaue you dont have to be a great pass rusher to play as a 3-4 DE.

However, I truly realize these "FACTS" will fall on the deaf ears of many in here. LOL...

It appears that the Titans are NOT going to franchise Cook. If we can't get Wallace or Jennings then I'm hoping that Ireland finds us a TE like Cook or Bennett.

20. 28-0,
the sanchize drop already started last season.
lol

WNp, I respect your opinions too but two facts..

1) of the top ten offenses in the league, only two were in top 10 rushing the ball ... Washington and Houston

2) The Dolphins are paying a ransom for this run stopping duo and the linebackers behind them and where did they finish in the NFL in stopping the run last year ... 13th. Now consider what we pay Starks, Soliai, Dansby, and Burnett and how few turnovers this team produces and what would happen to our sack numbers if Wake regresses ... this defense is so overrated it's hilarious. It's mediocre at best but yet has some very high earners that translate into very ordinary results.

Zt

Resign Sean smith

MiamiD20,

I'm missing your point in your post. You've said, 'dumb move' but what I'm not clear on is what you think the right move should have been.

WNP, agreed on Zgonina overall. he was all blood and guts and deserves a lot of respect. But Odrick is a more talented guy, that's all I meant.

mark i tink if the d has more time 2 rest than what the 3 + out machine gives them,
those d #'s would rise.
lol

"...that doesn't take into account Tannehill's play. If he falters and takes a Mark Sanchize step backwards then we're really in a hole...."

MD20,

If we can protect him better & if we can run the ball then Tannehill will be fine. I believe Hartline will be back & whether it's through FA or the draft we'll have two new WR's & a new TE.

WNP, agreed, tagging Long would have really hurt. The only thing to remember, we might use that #12 on an OT now.

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