It comes as no surprise, but the Miami Dolphins have officially used the franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks. We first discussed the possibility in this morning’s NFL Franchise Tag Deadline preview and passed along the report that the team was expected to make the move before 4:00 p.m. ET.
NFL Insider Jason La Canfora first passed along the news:
The Dolphins have franchised DL Randy Starks, as expected.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 4, 2013
Starks preferred a long-term deal and expressed his desire to finish his career with the Miami Dolphins, but the team decided to use the franchise tag instead. The franchise tag for defensive tackles carries a $8.45 million value.
With the decision to use the tag on Starks, cornerback Sean Smith, left tackle Jake Long and receiver Brian Hartline will hit the open market.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com leading up to the franchise tag deadline for the latest news and rumors.