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Randy Starks believes Dolphins are punishing him for offseason contract dispute

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Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks believed he was worth more money than the team was offering him this offseason, and neither side could come to a long-term contract agreement. Starks, a two-time Pro Bowler, eventually received the dreaded franchise tag. As a sign of protest, Starks sat out Miami’s “voluntary” organized team activities, but showed up for the mandatory mini-camp.

Starks later signed the one-year guaranteed deal worth $8.45 million, which is an increase from the $3.72 million he earned in 2012.

He also believes Miami is making him pay for his offseason holdout.

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Starks has started in 103 games since entering the league in 2004, but will come off Miami’s bench this season. The defensive tackle will be in a three-man rotation with Paul Soliai and Jared Odrick. However, the amount of snaps by each player should be equal.

"I've been there before," Starks told Chris Perkins of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. "I'm not going to say nothing bad about it. It is what it is. I wasn't here so I guess this is my punishment."

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said Starks was falling behind during the holdout and later revealed he expressed those thoughts to get Starks signed. Philibin previously said Starks looked good in training camp, and all seemed forgiven.

Starks is not the first NFL player to holdout for more money, and it is hard to believe a team would punish itself just to discipline one person. Heck, it takes multiple arrests to get released by an NFL team, and depending on the severity of each offense, a player could still have a job because of his skills.

The Dolphins did not give Starks a huge contract because the organization believed there was enough depth behind him.

Now that depth is in front of him.
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