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Starks: Not starting is 'punishment' for offseason

Randy Starks did not report for any Dolphins offseason work, as was his right once the Dolphins tagged him with their franchise tag. With that tag unsigned, Starks could skip workouts and OTAs and conditioning. And he did.

But when he reported to training camp, the former Pro Bowl defensive lineman found himself competing for a starting role with Jared Odrick.

And Starks privately found this odd. And Starks privately wasn't too thrilled with the setup.

And Starks let some of those private feelings out in public Monday.

"I'm not going to say nothing bad about it," Starks said. "It is what it is. I wasn't here so I guess this is my punishment."

Starks believes, to some degree at least, that because he showed unhappiness with the franchise tag and didn't attend much of the offseason fun, the Dolphins are punishing him for that.

He doesn't like the situation, necessarily, but isn't really complaining, either. He is internalizing much of his dislike for the situation by talking of playing better than he's ever played before. That, by the way, also got out a bit Monday.

"The year I was a backup [2008] I was one of the most dominant players on the defensive line," he said. "If that's the case [this year] I have the potential do it again."

Two things:

The Dolphins have not completely decided that Odrick is the starter and Starks is the backup. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has said he'll pick starters week to week depending on who the opponent is and whether Starks or Ordrick match up best against that opponent. And both men will play a lot, regardless of who starts.

Secondly, Starks is playing under an $8.45 million guaranteed franchise tag. But it seems more and more the team is moving away from him after this year. He's only 29 years old and wants a multi-year contract but the Dolphins are unlikely to sign both he and Paul Soliai to a long-term deal.

So it's also possible this is the first step for the Dolphins in distancing themselves eventually from Starks.

 

Comments

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I think the Dullfins are punishing their fans more than Starks lol

Soliai is coming back. Guys of his skill live a long life in the NFL and you don't find them everyday.

Craig M...

Characters is an ACCURATE description....

and one the inventor of those CHARACTER'S hates by the way...lol...

But since YG has been outed...his comments are taken with a grain of salt....

I think this place runs a bit more smoothly...now that the stupidity has identified....

The trolling only worked (IMO) when YG had the cover of anonimity....

now that that veil is lifted...who cares what he thinks....

attack..attack..attack....Even if for some reason there were 400 bloggers who hated me on this site....

I would still just shrug them off as king troll himself....and carry-on...

YG...in his own twisted way...while trying to make this site a living hell for those who want to talk FINS FOOTBALL...has actually made the place SO MUCH BETTER....

Thanks YG :)

Kris,

Flair is the man. When he started wrestling didn't pay. But by the End of his 60+ year career he was getting paid in the Millions.

Ric Flair and Stone Cold are the only 2 wrestlers which will give you an entertaining match without slamming his opponent once. True Showmen of the ring.

Wrestling is Fake, A Ric Flair Chest slap isn't.

LOL @ Dashi...

but you got to add the ROCK in that mix as well....

c'mon man...

"do you smell what I'm cooking"...

Maybe we can trade Starks for a starting caliber tight end. Odrick has outperformed Starks which is why Starks is the backup.

If it comes down to either losing Francis because of the numbers or finding another home for Starks I'm all for trading Starks. Granted someone would have to eat that FT this year but before the trade they could hammer out an extension for next the couple. This would please Starks and if Francis is truly worth it keep him.

The season is basically over without Keller. The team will go thru the motions like they do every year. Ross is selling hope that will never ever come to fruition.

Mark my word Mark,

Neither Soliai or Starks are coming back.

2 things. Ireland has found some good young depth to develop behind Soliai and Starks.

And It is Cheaper to spend a First Round Pick on a DT than to resign either.

so we tagged Starks and have Odrick.....good players and depth for this year, and a good player for next year--what exactly is the problem? Many here, including Armando, moan about the lack of depth on the Oline, but here we have good quality and good depth.....and its a bad thing? And if we had traded Starks, and Odrick gets hurt, woulda been "told you we shouldnt have have traded Starks"...."we had good depth, why did we trade Starks?"--gimme a break.

Kris,

That's great news! Glad to hear things are running smoother. Long may it continue.

Mark, I love the idea of Mercedes Lewis. I've always liked that guy. Sounds to me that Keller's going to have a Hell of a time coming back from that injury. Lewis is a guy I would look to long term. Under-rated in the league and he just hasn't had the consistent QB play necessary for success.

Leonard Pope is a guy I saw come available the last few days. Not saying he's great but he could be a guy we could add to the mix and possibly be a red zone threat. I'd be interested, assuming he's healthy.

I think Dashi is right....wouldnt be shocked if neither Soliai or Starks comes back....doesnt mean you have to get rid of either this year (why would they?)--let younger guys develop for another year, and have another draft coming up to replenish....30-ish+ is not exactly a kind age for most players

I wouldn't care to see us lose Francis because of the numbers. So if we can find a home for Starks I'm all in. Granted someone would have to eat the FT monies this first year but before the trade hammer out a 3 year extension that would both please the team getting him and Starks. We could get, perhaps, a 3rd or an OL. But the tough running back, we need, would be a big plus. Send Gillislee to the PS until needed. Pretty sure that he wouldn't be picked up off the waiver wire.

Starks and Francis can cause turnovers. Solei and Odrick plug up the middle and stop the run.

Sparano would keep Solei and Odrick. Who will Philbin keep? The answer? All the above.

Kris,

Agreed. The Rock is one of the Best Showman ever. But the Rock still slammed people from time to time.

Flair just kicked, punched, and gouged his way to victories.

Flair would have a match, him vs the ring. No one else. And it would be the most entertaining match of the night.

starks is long gone

Sit tight Starks, deal with the new GM next season.

benz @ 10:44am,

Great points. Nothing wrong with having great depth on the DL. It's how the Giants and Eagles teams did it for years. We'll need that depth as the season goes along and guys wear down or get hurt. I for one am thankful that these guys are on the team.

Gillislee will not clear waivers....could be a 3rd-4th RB on most teams--not sure why you'd cut him for another RB who has looked ok but not great, and had ACL surgery a year or so ago--if its even close, you keep the cheaper/healthier back, no?

I agree the Steve Ross Fins will continue to get rid of any high priced talent and substitute cheap garbage players as long as the fans are ok with it.

Dashi, how many Soliai's are there in the NFL? There's a tonne of Kheeston Randalls and AJ Francis and a lot of Odricks and Starks.

But very, very few Soliai's

Notice nobody runs in the middle at Miami. That is not because of Starks or Odrick or Randall or Francis. You can develop those sort of guys. Soliai's are very rare. Wilfork is another example. Even the factory like Patriots tradded Seymour(who closely resembles Starks and Odrick) but would never dear trade Wilfork. Wilfork and Brady are the untouchables.

GUys who bend centres and guards back like Soliai and Wilfork don't walk off. You ride them until they can't play no more.

I think Soliai comes back, he already signed for the cheap last time and will be even cheaper next year. I hope he retires a Dolphin

sure Nat, never heard of any other team/owner doing that, right?--replacing high priced vets for younger/cheaper talent....geez, novel.

I like Benz's perspective...

I was @ first leaning with Andy NJ....

but DEPTH is a good thing...and its not my money...

However...Mr. Ross may want some BONUS FOOTBALL (playoffs) if he is going to spend that much on a 2nd stringer...

I know I would...

let me say Nfl.COM and an Ipad make fantasy drafting a breeze.

I was bored and went to see if you can draft on your Ipad (you cant on yahoo, its flash) and ended up joining a league. Within 5 minutes I was drafting. I dont know how good my team will be, but it was pretty cool.

benz,

Gillislee hasn't impressed me at all. I don't get the buzz around this guy. I really don't.

Having said that, he probably makes the team.

Starks is omitting the fact he was injured for 3 of the past 4 preseason game. He has just barely practiced. Apparently, Starks feels the old adage "You can't make (or start for) the club if your sittin' in the tub" doesn't apply to him.

Short of a starting QB, RB or WR, few positions are immune to losing starting privileges to long term absence due to injury. What do you tell Odrick? He's a first round pick just hitting his prime and just hitting his developmental stride. You can't just "Discount" his work and effort and give Starks a "Gimmee" starting role.

IMO, Starks time in Miami will end either at seasons end, or if he is again injured. Why?... Who do you want to invest in considering DT & DE are the deepest and arguably most talented aspect of the roster? The guy pushing 30, who took a public stance against getting PAID $8.45 million on a guaranteed franchise tag? A guy who's ego is telling him he's being "punished" rather then factors such as Odricks excellent play and his own injury absence having an impact on him?

If Starks has the sort of season he's capable of giving, he'll have helped Miami to solidify it's younger players. If he play Possum and rolls over... it's his azzzz come contract time with Miami or his next stop. Everything he does this year is magnified.. It is in his best interest to shut up start putting up big plays. Regardless of what he does... Miami will be just fine at DT... Starks eventual departure is the money that will pay a signing bonus to Soliai and help get Odrick off a rookie contract and in the REAL money game.

just seems that one major factor separating the better teams (ok, outside of the star QB.....small issue, but why quibble) is quality depth--good player goes down and NYG, SF, NE, GB, PITT, BALT just plug in another pretty good player--Fins finally have younger/higher quality depth in some areas (DL, QB, WR, CB), where if a guy goes down, you dont feel so awful about the next guy coming in (WR and CB last year, for example....backups were embarrassing)--no issue with having both Starks and Odrick.

YAWN.......is any of this important?

In the Breeze....

Great post...as usual...

but I think Drew Bledsoe...and even Joe Montana would find fault with your 2nd paragraph...

No one is immune...

RG3 is scared to DEATH that Kirk Cousin's may get a few starts...and start a QB contoversy in DC...he may be arrogant...but he gets that part...your only as good as your last win...or the back-ups last crappy showing.

Breeze,

Kind of what I said earlier, you just said it much better than me! LOL

I think this 'punishment' is being way overblown byt the bored preseason media. I think the Fins handled Starks correctly.

Paying Starks +$8m salary in his final contract year makes total sense. The team needs DT's to be highly effective to make the 4-3 system work and to free up the LB's they just brought in.

So, a rotation of Starks, Solai and Odrick will be fantastic and I can care less who 'starts.' This one year will show which player is most effective and therefore should be considered for a multi-year deal (Starks or Solai). This year will also allow some of the younger players, who have shown promise, to step up and allow coaches to figure out the total deired line up for next year.

Finally, keeping Starks allowed Ireland to fill other pressing position needs in FA and Draft such as WR, CB, RT, TE, DE, etc (yes it's unforutnate Keller was injured but Ireland did fill TE smartly).

DL rotation is the norm across the league.....you dont think bringing in Odrick in the 3rd & 4th quarter for a few plays, to spell Starks, is a good thing?--you think Randy will mind, as he's grabbing for oxygen on the sidelines for a few plays.....keeps everybody fresh--and can slide Odrick to DE at times too.

Those guys are big and having three dominant DTs is going to help greatly with fatigue. They all three will play close to the same amount of time who cares who starts?

Like others have said if Randy works his behind off, keeps his mouth shut, and does well he will get paid by the Dolphins or someone else.

Starks sat out OTAs and then was hurt. Odrick worked hard and improved and has done well. Its not as much Starks getting punished as Odrick getting rewarded.

Having depth is not a bad thing. I think Solia will be the guy who comes back to the Dolphins after this year. He will give the Dolphins a fair deal (the opposite of Jake Long.)

Yes in theory it might have been better to spend the 8 million on someone else or roll it over to free agency 2014. However, Ireland didn't know Odrick and Vernon would step up. If extra depth for a bit of a hefty price is the biggest criticism of Ireland this offseason he is not doing too bad.

Philbin does seem petty like that.

Dolphins fans sound like eagles fans sheesh stopp complaining

Get off the blame bandwagon people. Have been a dolphins fan my whole life. But the dolphins are currently cheap when it comes to paying players on their active roster (which I like). Only the top brass make all the money the other 80% throw thier bodies in jeopady everyday for traning camp money.

Listed the NFL is business. Starks has performed and now needs to get paid. If he blows out his knee the NFL and Dolphins will drop him like a hot potato. He is not blabbing his mouth, he is unhappy the Dolphins are being cheap with him. Yet they paid Wallance and many other free agents this year. Does this sound like they appreciate him?

Go starks you worked your whole life to get to this 1 contract. Don't settle for less because you may only get 1 of these!

Can't believe many of you fools are siding with the NFL and dolphins who are the billionairs, instead of a hard working individual who has potential to be rewarded as millionaire.

ODRICK EARNED IT....

unless you are Tannehill, Pouncy, Wallace, Ellerbe or Rashad Jones, you have to compete for the job and playing time. Odrick competed very well.

douchebag posted... season is over without keller....wtf....are the patriots done because aaron is in jail??? fackin slapnut

go finssssssss

I like Starks but if it came down to it I would rather have Big Paul instead, and someone mentioned on the blog that maybe we could trade him for a good offensive linemen , this would be a good Idea if the Dolphins think they are not going to sign him next year.I would like to keep him myself and keep the defensive line strong.

RDUB,
Oderick may be quickly closing the gap between Starks and himself, but Starks is the better all around player. Great teams have alot of depth at alot of different positions. Jeff Ireland continues to release talent too soon. Imagine having Marshall,Bush and Wallace on the same team. Like I said before the really good teams know how to build talent and depth. Hartline is descent but only mediocre and cant play special teams. Atleast D.Bess was a descent punt returner and receiver. Thigpen is explosive but makes mental errors. Bess will be missed this year. L.Miller also mistake prone, Reggie would have signed almost any contract the Dolphins offered which is why Jeff Ireland didn't offer one. Now the only position that we have some depth Cheap Ireland will deminish it too.

Tony McDaniel was released this year. Paul Solai and or Starks could depart next year. Oderick is a really special player to replace all these guys. Or will the Dolphins be back to drafting DT's in the first round for the next five years

Dashi,
I beleive Dansby had atleast 120+ tackles last year. So its not like he was just dead weight. Ellerbee maybe an upgrade but cmon man give Dansby a little credit.

Yawn.


Seems to me that Starks comments are rather Dansby-esque'. Enjoy your franchise tag this year Mr. Starks
and let's see what kind of money you get offered next year. Is that the a door that I hear hitting someone
in the cheeks ? Oops ! Some of these guys belong in
the NBA. Friggin' Prima' Donna's.

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