Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
As Free Agency draws near, I continue my Free Agent Focus series this time on Dolphins defensive tackle, Randy Starks with a Dolphins' writer to lend some insight.
The Raiders situation at defensive tackle is a tenuous one. Richard Seymour is gone, Tommy Kelly looks to be close behind, and Desmond Bryant will hit free agency if the Raiders don't lock him up. That just leaves last year's sixth round pick, Christo Bilukidi as the only sure returning player at the position.
A very strong option in free agency this year is Randy Starks. He has played everywhere along the Dolphins defensive line, from DE to NT and played well at each position. He is still just 29 years old which means he has one more decent contract left in him. The Dolphins would like to keep him but they have a great many free agents to deal with and may end up watching Starks walk because of it.
Here is what Kevin Nogle from Dolphins blog, The Phinsider, had to say:
Starks is a highly underappreciated portion of the Miami defense. Teamed up with Paul Soliai, you simply don't run up the middle against the Dolphins. He has the agility and moves to be a defensive end, but the size to play tackle. He's not going to line up and get you double digit sacks off the edge, but he could get you 4-6 sacks up the middle, and he will constantly be in a quarterback's face as he collapses the pocket. There is thought that the Dolphins could franchise tag Starks, giving them time to work out a long term deal, which is exactly what they did two years ago with Soliai. The Dolphins could allow Starks to leave this year, and it wouldn't be a shock, choosing to move Jared Odrick inside to his natural position, but I think they will retain Starks knowing how big a part of the run defense he is.