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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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well we wre gonna need all new corners

As Ireland cannot afford to fail in the Draft, I see him leaning towards Lane Johnson, Jonathan Jenkins, can't miss OL prospects in my book.

Are you kidding? Dolphins have $10M a year tied up in Marshall and Patterson, how can they bring in anyone else?

You cut them, Lt, you cut them.

easily they cut marshall and patterson

What's with this Dallas' fixation on tagging Anthony Spencer? He ain't nothing special in my book.

Glad to hear Randy will be back next season! He's one of the few good veterans on this team. Now I'd like to see them get something done with Jake Long. I understand injuries have taken their toll on Long, but he's still a good football player. We'll never get to where we want to be if we keep turning over the roster. At some point the team has to take care of their own guys. There's no guarantee Long stays healthy, but there's also no guarantee his replacement will be better. Im sure they can get this done with a little creative contract language, so lets GO!!!

I HOPE THEY DON't WASTE A ROSTER SPOT ON HARTLINE NEVER MIND 6 MILLION.

dallas is awful, jerry jones a retarded monkey

I just wished Vontae had his head on str8 he's a much better cover corner than SS. Remember that Indy game where rookie QB Luck kept picking on SS on 3rd down. Then when Smith had the opportunity for a pick right in his hands he dropped it. Let him walk!

Long a good leader and all but his play last year took a significant drop off. Merriman in his post steroid days obliterated JL in the Billa game. Freeney made Long look like a turnstile.

While Starks isn't flashy he sure was the most consistent of the three players. I'm ok with him being franchised hope they can work out a long term deal though.

starks solid and still young. longs career on decline big time, glad hes go ne

Oh, fair enough then.

I like Cary Williams. Maybe overrated but he's a physical man coverage guy.

Have you seen Jonathan Cooper get to the 2n level, in a flash and a destroyer once there. Take a look, is worth it.

FOR A AN AVERAGE PLAYER LIKE STARKS TO BE FRANCHIESED ,IT SPEAKS VOLUMES FO THE DIRE STATE OF THE DOLPHINS AS A TEAM LIVING IN THE CELLAR..

Hate to break it to u all but somebody gonna offer Long soe good money.The fact is pro bowl Lts under 30 barely ever hit free agency. understand phins hesitation,but will call it now.Next yr when draft comes along all the talk will be how miami needs to find a Lt.Long will come back to probowl form and miami will e looking at anoher Lt.Im so tired ofall these high picks by phins not lasting on the roster.Its PATHETIC!

We seem to be in luck. They might go for the White Boys first and leave Cooper and Lane for Us.

Who's the best CB in FAgency? You don't know yet?, well go for him Ireland.

Jason, who cares what some other teams pay Long?? And after 2 years of injuries how do you know he will come back to Pro Bowl form?? He is not worth what he wants.

Have no problem letting smith test market not at all worth 9-10 mil.However now cb which was already in need becomes dire.Starks i like move if they could of sighned him for 6-7 mil over 3or4yrs rather have seen that.My problem is Ireland seems o want to try to low ball everybody.Lets hope any of these free agentseven want to come here.Their track record over last few yrs of gettng shutdown by players and coaches is a real red flag to me.(Ireland and Ross 2 flubbing idiots)

I see nothing average about Starks, ALoco. Almost as strong as Paul Soliai with a decisive quickness and motor to him. You go find another one of those running freely out there.

Oh, Long will get his $, definitely. Only not from Us.

look some of u guys think now dolphins have chump change now with 30mil on free agents that can still get u some good freeagents.Besides what did u think phins gonna go washington redskins style.Everybody can c where that has gotten them.We will be lucky if any of these guys even want 2 come here way its gone with being shutdown by players and coaches last few yrs.(thanks 2 Ireland and Ross!)

To me, Starks was our most important free agent. The D-line sets the tone for the entire unit, and Starks was a cornerstone to that success. The means not spending other money in the market or using a 1st/2nd on the line...both of which open options at other positions.

I hope Smith is not back, at any price. I'd rather have Cox or Grimes or even rookies. Smith is a bad system fit and the sense of entitlement that will come with 8-10 million is as likely to ruin him as anything.

Good riddance. I just hope whomever he goes to is on our schedule as the thing he does best is allow first downs and TDs.

I think that franchising Starks signals that Ireland is about to make a big splash in FA.....

I mean...why franchise anybody if this is truly year one of a rebuild..and last year was just a throw away.....and man did they throw it away.....

With Starks franchised I expect to see a HUGE run a the WR position (big 3)....and hopefully Ireland can manage to NOT offend one of them....and we land one....

I think Ireland will also get us a Solid CB and a big time TE to give this offense some fire power....

I mean how can he not....what is the purpose of franchising a player if you don't plan to compete in the players franchise year....heck...let him walk and pocket the cash.....

So while I don't trust Ireland....I think it will be interesting to see what his next move is....

If it were me...it would be getting Bush signed on for another 4 years (cut after 3 possibly).....

and the Long done for a fair deal to both sides....

whats fair?

imo.....fair is a deal that shows like a top contract...and give Jake ALL the bragging rights he so desires....and is written in such a way that if we cut him next season (due to IR).....he leaves with very little guaranteed to him....kinda like the way the SKINS did Donavan McNabb.....that is my version of fair....for this situation...

Just hearing Sean Smith say he wants to "Get Paid" reinforces the fact the Dolphins should handle with kid gloves.

hey im not out 2 say phins should give long 11il per im saying somebody gonna offer him good money.Why do i care what other team does?Well cause means long not a phin no more.Anothr waste pick.Maybe he doesnt return form.my point is if he does and phins still looking for lt next yr im gonna be jacked!

"Starks has had 4 1/2 sacks each of the past two seasons for Miami, and he also had an interception with 27 tackles in 2012."
===================================================

Yep --in Ireland world-- that's worth a 5 million dollar raise.

Really! And Starks is mad for getting an extra 5 million in one year? This is crazy. Starks has one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel.

So informative and comprehensive post.

why does Smith think he is worthy of such a payday? he has 4 or 5 INT's in 4 years! i totally agree with them going out and getting a stud WR for $8-$9 mil per year than pay Hartline $6 mil per. as for Long, buh bye. he's already made $40 some million dollars in his first 4 years. i dont want him back for anything more than $6-$7 mil per. he's just too injury prone to pay that much. that much money needs to be spent on playmakers, not 1 of 5 linemen.

Mark from Toronto,

I respect what you are saying but please dont tell me I dont know football. In a pass crazy league, you still have to be able to run the ball, but most especially in January, and if you cannot stop the run or threat of the run, you will not win in the post- season. These are facts. If you can make a team one dimensional, you have a much better chance of winning games. These are facts- how can you dispute them? Now, dont be lumping Burnett and Dansby into your DL taking up 30% of cap quote- they are not part of the DL. I must admit though that our linebackers are overpaid- particularly Dansby.

Also- the two of the top teams running the football in the league last year were SF and SEA- yea, those two also happen to be the best two teams. SF embarrassed one dimensional Packers in the playoffs- who A. couldnt stop the run B. AAron Rodgers, as good as he is, cant win it all by himself.

Starks was due to make a little over 3 million this season. So we franchised him for 8 million. That's 5 million dollars spent --already-- and the team didn't get any better.

The only way it makes sense is if Ireland KNEW someone was interested in Starks. Any other scenario then it was a bad move.

Beast difference maker. SB baby. Cant win SB without Starks. $8.5 mil well spent. smh

Now, if we can only lock up Hartron long term, we are set for the next 10 years SB run baby! I don't know tho, cause teams are lining up to sign this beast.

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