• Fins cut Grimes Fins cut Grimes The Fins release CB Brent Grimes, freeing $6.5 million in cap space
  • Mario Williams signed Mario Williams signed DE Mario Williams signs a 2 years deal with the Fins
  • Fins trade for CB Maxwell Fins trade for CB Maxwell Fins swap 1st round picks with the Eagles for CB Maxwell and LB Alonso
  • Adam Gase hired Adam Gase hired Coach Gase was hired as head coach of the Dolphins


Re-sign Jake Long and Randy Starks? Forget it.

Jake Long is a free agent

Jake Long is set to become a free agent

Jeff Ireland has planned the work. It’s time for him to work the plan.

The Dolphins have the second youngest team in the NFL, a potential franchise QB in Ryan Tannehill, a projected $46-$47 million in cap room, and 5 of the first 82 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

WR Brian Hartline should be the only “must” among the Dolphins 11 Free Agents impending Free Agents following a 74-catch, 1083 season at 26 years old. Hartline’s camp likely will ask for the same $5-$7 mil/year contract that Pierre Garcon, Mario Manningham, Robert Meachem, Josh Morgan, and Laurent Robinson signed for last off-season. Robbing Tannehill of his go-to guy in Hartline will be counter-productive to building the skill positions. It’s simple: losing Hartline will require replacing a player of Hartline’s caliber.

Several Dolphins FA’s are in limbo. RB Reggie Bush and CB Sean Smith are likely on the outs given their expected price-tags, but could return for the right price. QB Matt Moore, OT Nate Garner, DT Tony McDaniel, FS Chris Clemons would be valuable re-signings under the right circumstances as well.

But LT Jake Long and DT Randy Starks? Absolutely not. Not for any price. Don’t even talk about it.

Re-signing Jake Long in a best-case-scenario will cost $7-9mil/year for the next 5-7 seasons. Ireland prepared for Long’s departure in drafting Martin in the 2nd Round last season instead of addressing more pressing needs at DE and WR. Martin will earn $1-1.5 mil/season for the next 3 years to return to his natural LT spot. Re-signing Long devalues the overall purpose of drafting Martin in the 2012 NFL Draft.

I like Randy Starks. What’s not to like? The 5-year, $21-million dollar contract he signed in 2008 was a bargain. He has excelled as both a 3-4 DE and 4-3 DT under three different Defensive Coordinators. He had his first NFL sack in his first NFL game before he was even old enough to drink a beer. But? Re-signing Starks through 2013 and 2014, even at a bargain price, also requires the same two-year commitment to playing Jared Odrick out of place at DE. After the 2014 season, the Dolphins are likely to lose both Starks and Odrick to Free Agency. Odrick is younger, bigger, stronger, cheaper, and had more sacks and tackles for loss than Starks over the last two seasons. Re-signing Starks devalues the selection of Jared Odrick with the #28 in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Look… if this were Major League Baseball where it’s a simple question of “do you want the guy or not?”, it’d be a different story. But this is the NFL. There are rules here.

Jeff Ireland has only a certain amount of dollars to establish the future of the Miami Dolphins, and those dollars should be spent on playmakers on a team that currently lacks them. Jake Long and Randy Starks would be counter-productive to those efforts.

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Thanks for reading,

Brian Catanzaro @BrianCat13

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Re-sign Jake Long and Randy Starks? Forget it., 4.2 out of 5 based on 9 ratings
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Brian Catanzaro

Brian Catanzaro

I cram as much Miami Dolphins data as possible into one click. Listen to my Tuesday Night Podcast "On The Fin Side" with Brian Miller and Paul Picken and follow me on Twitter @BrianCat13.

5 Responses to Re-sign Jake Long and Randy Starks? Forget it.

  • Nice article Brian. I completely agree that Long isn’t worth the investment right now. However, why not franchise tag him this year? Pay him the 10-11 million (or whatever the price) for just one year to see if he can regain his form. He is still young, and if he could regain his status as a top 3 lineman, our line would be set for years to come. If he continues to play at the level he has for the last two seasons, then address the tackle position in next years draft. This allows us to focus on WR, CB, TE, and LB/DE this year in free agency and the draft. Just my thoughts on long, I think he is worth the tag. As for Starks, I agree with your thoughts. And for Bush, he is the number one playmaker on this team right now. I say he is absolutely worth 3 years or so for 3-5 million a year. Just my thoughts… Go Fins!

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  • I kind of agree.

    Though i think tis a mistake to let Bush go.Hes averaged 1300 yards and about 8 td’s a seasons since coming here.If fans and the team are willing to spend $10 million on a wr with similiar stats, i dont get why they wont spend $5 million on a young proven rb.

    Hes only 27,in his prime and a vocal mature leader.

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  • Great minds think alike. I have been saying the same thing for awhile now. People are saying it is opening up holes to fill, but guess what they are already holes. These guys are already FAs so technically they are no longer part of the team. Over paying and tying up money in a player that has been on a steady decline is not a smart idea. So unless Long signs a deal that is to his actual value they should let him walk. I have said the same about Starks. We could get the same production out of Odrick at DT and use that money to find a pass rushing DE. The problem with our front 7 is that we have 6 solid players and just one play maker. We need another play maker in there. Hartline is a clear number 2 WR and he should be brought back, Bush should only be brought back as a back up. He has big play ability but he can’t bring out yards.

    Bottom line is that these players are part of the reason that this team has been mediocre for so long. It is easy to love these guys for the players they use to be or the flashes of greatness they have shown but if you pay attention to the way they play, you would see who needs to stay and who needs to go and like Brian said Hartline is the only FA that is a must.

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  • Not signing them means you have to replace them, thus a draft pick has to be used. You can move Odrick and Martin but that opens up their spots. It’s not a zero sum game.

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    • James Lancaster

      This is true. But it would be better to find replacements than to overpay guys who are clearly on the decline.

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