It was a tough year on the defensive front for the Atlanta Falcons last season. They were undermanned all season on the defensive line, and head into the 2014 offseason with multiple spots to fill at the position.
One possible solution could be to bring in veteran free agent Randy Starks. Starks, one of the best all around defensive lineman in the league the last few years, is likely to be available on the open market this spring.
One thing is for sure, he’s just what the Falcons need to upgrade a defense that was weak at the point of attack last year. He’s big, strong, and most importantly he’s tough and plays with a high motor. Owner Arthur Blank has said that he means business when it comes to getting tougher in the trenches, the test will come when he and GM Thomas Dimitroff decide if he’s worth a big contract.
And make no mistake, Starks will not come cheap. He racked up 49 tackles and four sacks last season, most of that while battling constant double teams for the Dolphins. Miami would love to bring him back, but they’re going to have serious cap issues to deal with and Starks may end up being a casualty of NFL economics.
Their loss could be the Falcons gain. Starks brings a high energy, tough style of play that they’ve been missing the last few years. His edge, and ability to either make plays or chew up multiple blockers, will immediately make the defense better.
Sure, he’ll come with a big pricetag, but the Falcons have some money to spend in free agency this year. They need to make sure they don’t give him too many years on the deal, he is already entering his 11th year in the league, but a big, strong, tough defensive lineman is right at the top of the Falcons’ offseason shopping list.