Things to consider:
Pro Bowl this year, and was a snub last year. His stock is sky high.
He is 27 playing in the final year of his contract. It will take BIG money next year to sign him.
Tony McDaniel is really starting to get it and he graded out really well this past year. He wasn't however, a starter, so his price tag will still be reasonable. It is reasonable to assume if McDaniel isn't promised a legitimate shot at more snaps, he will test free agency, and there are several teams desperate for 3-4 DE's. (Denver,Packers,Patriots,Bills,Browns,etc.)
If that happens, the Dolphins of course, get nothing.
Yes, we would all rather trade Merling, but he has no value.
Odrick will be back healthy, God willing.
I assume Soliai will also be re-signed, and I expect the Dolphins to pursue Shaun Rogers after Cleveland releases him. In fact, if Starks is traded, the Dolphins may even trade for Rogers and pay him the 5.5 mil. He can still collapse a pocket.
Maybe this will be the year Ryan Baker learns to stay on his feet and not fall down. Hey, Tamba Hali overcame the same problem and he was argueably the most effective pass rusher in the NFL last year.
That guy Robert Rose has some great athleticism. I don't know if they are giving him a futures contract or not.
Dolphins could be 5 or 6 deep at DE and have two NT's even without Starks
I think I would look to trade him for a late 1st or early 2nd. He could also be packaged with another player like Sapp,Henne,Crowder,Dobbins,Culver,Hilliard, etc.
I think the Packers would be very interested. Johny Jolly is a problem and he is a free agent. Cullen Jenkins is injury prone and a free agent and other than those two guys they have 0 depth.