DAVIE, Fla. — Randy Starks said he was just joking around. But he hasn’t gotten any laughs out of it.
The Miami Dolphins defensive tackle was caught on camera flashing an obscene gesture with his middle finger after recording a sack late in Sunday’s 23-10 win at Cleveland. Starks on Tuesday said what he did was wrong.
“Of course, I regret it,” he said at the Dolphins practice complex. “It’s something I shouldn’t have (done). It was something I was joking around with my teammates. Whatever consequences happens, I’ve got to take it. … We were making some jokes on the sideline about get a sack and it came out the wrong way.”
Starks said he did not get fined for the incident. But Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was not pleased about it even if he did joke Monday that the gesture was aimed “probably at me, directly,” for not starting Starks to begin the season.
Philbin’s comment further fueled speculation Starks is unhappy because he’s not starting after making his second Pro Bowl last season. Starks missed offseason workouts because he was disappointed the franchise tag was placed on him (one year at $8.45 million) when he had wanted a long-term contract.
“It definitely got blown out of proportion,” Starks said of the incident. “But the situation I’m in as far as not starting and not being here, I could see how it could be misleading. … I didn’t think it would get blown up like that but it did and I accept full responsibility for it.”
Starks, who had 1 1/2 sacks against the Browns, claimed he’s not disappointed being a reserve.
“I’m happy with my role,” he said. “My role is to be a backup nose tackle so whatever (helps) the team to win, I’ll accept that.”
Starks tweeted Monday he’s no longer perturbed with his contract situation. He reiterated that Tuesday.
“There’s no point in being upset about it,” he said. “The season has started. The contract situation is in my hands now (for the future). Just go out there and perform and help the team win and see what happens afterward.”
For now, the Dolphins are preparing to play Sunday at Indianapolis. Starks is again expected to come off the bench behind Jared Odrick.