The Miami Dolphins already extended one player heading into a contract year, Cameron Wake, this offseason, but it appears they are not done. According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins are expected to begin work on an extension with defensive tackle Randy Starks, as well as possibly cornerback/safety Sean Smith and wide receiver Brian Hartline, in the coming weeks.
It makes sense that they’d try to extend these players now because, as they announced earlier today, they will be using the franchise tag on Jake Long next offseason if a deal can’t be worked out between the Dolphins and their former #1 overall pick before then. Long and the Dolphins are currently far apart on a deal and the Dolphins might feel it would be easier to extend some of their “lesser” players now and deal with Long later, rather than the other way around.
It’s interesting to note that Reggie Bush, who is also heading into a contract year, was not named in the report. Bush had a strong season for the Dolphins in 2011, rushing for 1086 yards and 6 touchdowns on 216 carries, but aside from that has little to no history of being a reliable lead back. He’ll also be 28 next May. With Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller on the roster behind him, they might let him hit the open market. He’s owed 4.5 million in 2012 in the final year of a 2 year restructured contract that he signed last offseason after the Dolphins acquired him from the New Orleans Saints.