Dolphins 'optimistic' about Randy Starks

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins had a busy first day of free agency on Tuesday when they signed left tackle Branden Albert and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell. But Day 2 could mark the return of a familiar face.

Miami general manager Dennis Hickey confirmed Wednesday that the team is having significant talks with defensive tackle Randy Starks, who played with the Dolphins on the franchise tag last season. The Dolphins signed Earl Mitchell to a four-year, $16 million contract this week and would like bring back Starks for depth on the defensive line.

“We’re optimistic,” Hickey said at the team's facility. “We’ve been talking and negotiating with his agent and his representation. [Executive Vice President of Player Administration] Dawn Aponte is upstairs working on that. We’re optimistic and we’ll see how that happens.”

Starks was a rotational player for the Dolphins last year and recorded 49 tackles and four sacks. Miami lost starting defensive tackle Paul Soliai in free agency. Soliai signed a five-year, $33 million contract Tuesday with the Atlanta Falcons.