- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Will any of this change in the next few days?
Soliai and Starks have been significant contributors for the Dolphins over the past several seasons. Soliai has been a full-time starter the past four years in Miami and made the Pro Bowl following the 2011 season. Starks has been in Miami since 2008 and made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2012.
They were part of a rotation with fellow defensive lineman Jared Odrick last season. The group didn’t work well for Miami, despite all three being good individual players. The Dolphins surprisingly were 24th against the run last season and often wore down in the second half of games.
However, Soliai and Starks are good players who should get interest on the open market. Soliai is a natural run-stuffer capable of fitting in the middle of a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, which adds value. Starks is more of a play-making defensive tackle who has 36.5 career sacks.
It’s possible the Dolphins could wait and let other teams set the market with their two defensive tackles. If the price is too high, the Dolphins could let them walk and examine other options. Miami also could try to retain the least expensive of the two.
But time is ticking for the Dolphins at defensive tackle. There is no guarantee Soliai or Starks will return to Miami once they hit the open market. With several days remaining before free agency, it is not too early for Miami to put together a contingency plan via the draft or free agency.