As the franchise tagging deadline approaches at 4 p.m. today (Monday), the Miami Dolphins decided to franchise tag their 2 time pro bowl defensive tackle.
For the Dolphins, this tag came as no surprise after Jeff Ireland proposed to the media at the draft combine that he was interested in tagging Randy Starks. Initially Starks hinted via twitter, he would generally not prefer the franchise tag, however it seemed a long term deal was not in progress. The other leading candidates for the Dolphins franchise tag included corner back Sean Smith, and veteran left tackle Jake Long. Smith was the leading candidate heading into the off season for the tag, however it has become more apparent throughout the off season that Smith will likely test free agency. Long on the other hand has battled injuries within the past few seasons, and his tag seemed to cost worthy of the price.
Starks will make $8.45 million as the team’s franchise player, and could possibly follow in the footsteps of teammate Paul Soliai, who received the franchise tag in 2011, and later followed up with a long term contract. Starks expressed his opinions via twitter on Sunday, stating “I want to be a dolphin!!! Not just for one more year….”. Depending on Starks’ season, he could receive a long term contract after his tag.