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Starks: 'I regret' flipping the bird

If you watched the game, you saw it. If you read this blog, you saw it. Randy Starks collected a sack on Sunday and celebrated with a one-finger salute aimed toward the Dolphins sideline.

The move became the source of much speculation. (Not on this blog, if you read the post). And the NFL may at some point have a say on the matter with a fine.

But speaking about the issue to the media for the first time Tuesday, Starks showed remorse for the move.

"Of course I regret it,” Starks said while a group of a dozen reporters gathered around him. "It’s something I shouldn’t have [done]. It was something that I was joking around with my teammates. Whatever consequences happen, I have to take it."

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin met with Starks about the matter on Monday. I'm told the coach made the point to Starks that flipping the bird on the field is not the kind of behavior he condones. The coach told Starks it's wrong.

On Tuesday the coach declined to say what was said in the meeting.

“Any discussions I might have had with Randy would stay internal," he said. "They are of a personal nature."

This much is clear: Starks was encouraged to make the issue go away. Quickly.

Starks said Tuesday he flipped the bird toward the Dolphins sideline because he was joking with some teammates on the sideline about getting a sack. He was just having fun, he said, but the gesture  "came out the wrong way."

Starks said the gesture had nothing to do with his contract situation. We already knew that, if you read my post on the topic. He said he understood how his definite distaste for not starting -- something that is not questionable -- might have led folks to think his gesture was a comment on that situation. 

"The situation I’m in as far as not starting and not being here [in the offseason], I can see how that can be misleading," Starks said.

Let this remain clear: Starks is over the contrace issue. It's not a problem for him. He's making $8.45 million guaranteed this year. So he is "over" that, as he said on Twitter Monday. But ...

He is unhappy about not starting. Those close to him make no bones about that. Starks himself said earlier in camp he felt like he was being punished for not showing up to offseason training by having to compete with Jared Odrick for the starting job.

And now this is also clear: While Starks isn't happy about coming off the bench, his salute wasn't a message.

By the way, on Tuesday Jared Odrick continued to be ahead of Starks in practice.

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