The Browns have signed veteran defensive lineman Randy Starks, general manager Ray Farmer announced Monday.
Starks, 31, is an 11-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl selection who spent the past seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins. He began his career with the Tennessee Titans, who selected him in the third round (71st overall) of the 2004 draft.
“Randy is a seasoned veteran defensive lineman that has performed consistently well over time,” Farmer said. “He can bang in the run game but also has the ability to affect the passer. He’s a versatile player that has played in different fronts. We like what he brings to the table and think he can help us win games.”
Starks (6-foot-4, 305 pounds) has played in no fewer than 14 games in each of his 11 NFL seasons, didn’t miss a game in eight of the 11 and, from 2007-2013, played in 111 consecutive games. Overall, he’s appeared in 171 games with 132 starts.
Starks piled up no fewer than four sacks in each of the past four seasons and has 41 for his career. Since his arrival in Miami in 2008, he accumulated 45 tackles for loss with career highs of 10 in 2009 and 2011, respectively, while making the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2012. During his seven-year stint, the Dolphins allowed 4.02 yards per carry, an average that ranks eighth in the NFL.
Starks, a Petersburg, Virginia native who attended the University of Maryland, spent his first four seasons in Tennessee, where he saw immediate playing time as a rookie and took over as a full-time starter by his second season. For his career, he has 385 tackles, 41 sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries.
“I’m excited to sign with the Browns because I like what they are building,” Starks said. “I think they are going to become a good team. I like what I heard from the coaching staff and the interest they took in me. An attacking and aggressive defensive scheme is one that suits me and I think I can be very successful in this type of system. Karlos Dansby had really great things to say about the coaching staff and he’s a guy that I’m looking forward to playing with again.”
Starks and Dansby played together for three seasons (2010-12) with the Dolphins. Starks will line up in front of him on a Browns defensive line that was battered by injuries in 2014 but has its eyes set on improving its run-stopping and pass rush in 2015.
“Randy is a durable, instinctive and productive interior lineman that should bring solid depth to our rotation,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “His sack numbers are high for a guy that plays on the inside. He uses his hand very well and we look forward to him being a reliable and steady addition to our defensive line.”