Dolphins place franchise tag on DT Randy Starks

3/4/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

Miami Dolphins officially placed the franchise tag on defensive tackle Randy Starks, after general manager Jeff Ireland dropped hints of such intentions at the NFL scouting combine last week.
 The franchise tag means that the Miami Dolphins have Randy Stark committed to a one-year fully guaranteed contract, which counts the same amount against the team’s 2-13 salary cap. However, Randy Starks expressed earlier on twitter that he wanted to stay with the Miami Dolphins, “not just for one more year.” The Miami Dolphins franchise tagged Randy Stark to avoid exposing him to free agency, after playing out a the last season of a five year contract, that fetched him $3.72 million in 2012.
Now, the Miami Dolphins are will attempt to work out a long-term contract for Randy Starks to lower his cap hit  number and provide Starks with the long term security he had hoped to find in Miami. The two sides have until July 15 to settle on a long-term contract, or else Randy Stark could end up playing the next season under the franchise tag.
Randy Starks joined the Miami Dolphins in 2008 after spending four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, who selected him out of Maryland in the third round of the 2004 draft.  Randy Starks split time between defensive end and defensive tackle duties in Miami, making a Pro Bowl appearance at each spot (2010 defensive end, 2012 defensive tackle). Although Randy Starks had his ups-and-downs, he has been the anchor of the Miami Dolphins’ stout run defense.
The 29-year-old Randy Stark played all 80 games, with 67 starts since arriving in Miami. Randy Starks finished with 22 sacks, four interception and 175 tackles during his five-years in Miami.
The move also means that Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline left tackle Jake Long and cornerback Sean Smith are clear to enter free agency on March 12, after remaining without a contract with this offseason. The Miami Dolphins have until Friday to sign the three impeding free agents to new contracts, after which the three players can negotiate with other teams and officially sign deals on March 12.
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