Five days before free agency begins, the Dolphins still – rather amazingly – have not made an offer to two of their best defensive players, tackles Randy Starks and Paul Soliai.
That’s a risky move that could leave them needing to find two new veteran tackles in free agency, to pair in a rotation with Jared Odrick.
Asked about the likelihood of Starks returning to the Dolphins, his agent, Tony Paige, said today: “As of now, it’s unlikely because we haven’t received an offer. He’s looking forward to moving on.”
But Paige added Starks “has got nothing bad to say about Miami” and would consider an offer if one arrives.
The Dolphins haven’t called Paige since meeting with him at the NFL Combine. At that time, the Dolphins indicated they would keep in touch regarding Starks and had some interest in keeping him.
Meanwhile, Soliai is prepared to move on but hasn't closed the door on returning if Miami makes a lucrative offer. Soliai had expected to receive a Dolphins offer by now, but the Dolphins have surprised him and others by not making an offer yet to either of their defensive tackles.
“The dialogue between us and the Dolphins remains open and friendly but we are not negotiating anything right now,” agent David Canter said. “There has been no offer since August.”
Is there much of a chance he returns? “That’s up to the Dolphins," Canter said. "If they want to keep him, they know what we believe it will take to keep him. They have an exclusive period through Saturday and can keep coming at us until he signs elsewhere.”
Soliai is expected to command north of $6 million per season, and the Dolphins are aware of that. The Dolphins, at this point, do not appear comfortable going that high.
Dolphins staffers and coaches have told Soliai they want him back. But they have an odd way of showing it, by not making an offer.
Players can begin talking to other teams on Saturday and can sign elsewhere beginning next Tuesday.
### Greg Oden is out for the Heat against Houston tonight, but Erik Spoelstra said he has not had a setback and the Heat is merely resting him on the second night of a back-to-back. Dwyane Wade is back tonight.