The Miami Dolphins placed the franchise tag on Randy Starks today, keeping the two time Pro Bowl player off the free agent market for 2013. Well, that's the thought at least. According to the NFL, the Dolphins actually placed the "nonexclusive" version of the tag on Starks, meaning he could actually still negotiate a deal with another team.
That team would then owe the Dolphins two first round draft picks.
So, it's highly unlikely that will happen - but it could.
According to Article 10, Section 2 of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement:
"The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position...at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years... ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year...(the "Cap Percentage Average")...; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater..."
The CBA goes on to explain that a player with the nonexclusive tag is free to negotiate with any franchise, but that the two first round picks would be sent to the former team if a deal is struck.
While Starks staying with Miami is nearly a foregone conclusion, there's actually a chance he could head somewhere else next year.
Don't bet on it, though.