Dolphins free agent rumors: Randy Starks appears headed back to Dolphins

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are said to be closing in on a deal with free agent defensive tackle Randy Starks. Starks returning would give the Dolphins a rotation of Starks, Jared Odrick, and the newly added Earl Mitchell.

Well, doesn't Dennis Hickey suddenly look like he knows what he is doing. After allowing both Paul Soliai and Randy Starks to hit free agency, Hickey is now on the verge of ending any defensive tackle need for Miami, and doing it relatively cheaply.

According to various media reports, including from CBS' Jason La Canfora, it appears Miami and Starks are close to a deal, bringing the two time Pro Bowler back to the team that franchise tagged him last year. According to La Canfora, the deal would pay Starks around $6 million per year. If Miami is able to bring Starks back, the defensive tackle position would be manned by a rotation of Starks, Jared Odrick, and the newly signed Earl Mitchell.

Soliai signed with the Atlanta Falcons yesterday.

The market for defensive tackles seems to have dried up fairly quickly this year, and Starks appears to be the player left without a chair. Were Hickey may have projected how the defensive tackle market would work this offseason, Starks appears to have expected more interest in his abilities than actually materialized.

Assuming the reports are accurate, and the deal for Starks is $6 million per year, Miami would be paying $12 million per year for Starks, Odrick, and Mitchell. Soliai's deal with the Falcons was a 5-year contract for $33 million, with $14 million guaranteed and $11 million coming this year.

Starks returning to Miami would be a huge signing for the Dolphins and would solidify the defensive line for 2014.

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