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greg1964
06-23-2009, 02:08 PM
Sometimes in the NFL, both the player and the team get what they want from a contract negotiation. That applies perfectly to Max Starks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, because of the four-year contract signed by the team’s starting left tackle on Tuesday.

As this offseason began, the Steelers slapped the franchise tag on the unrestricted-free-agent-to-be Starks – one season after putting the transition tag on him – because they didn’t want to lose a player capable of starting at the critical left tackle spot.

That virtually assured Starks would spend the 2009 season with the Steelers, but at a salary cap figure of $8.45 million for the upcoming year it wasn’t necessarily the best arrangement for the team.

What the Steelers were seeking was a less onerous salary cap figure for 2009, and what Starks was seeking was some long-term security from the team that drafted him on the third round in 2004. The announcement of the four-year contract on June 23 accomplished all of that.

“I can finally take a sigh of relief,” said Starks, moments after signing the deal. “Everyone is probably happy the franchise tag is off of me. I am happy too. You get a big target on your back with that tag. I am happy we got a contract resolved going into the season. Hopefully it shows everyone I am happy to be here with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


"I wanted to go into training camp knowing where I am going to be, knowing what my future holds. Now I know this is my home and this is potentially the place I will be ending my career. Most people don’t have the opportunity to make it this far in an NFL career and I have been blessed to make it this far and be on a team where they foster the type of attitude to keep guys together so you have the cohesiveness that everyone looks for and it’s successful for us."

Starks, 27, broke into the starting lineup in 2005 at right tackle, and he started every game that season for the Steelers team that won Super Bowl XL. He was one of the players who made a key block on Willie Parker’s 75-yard touchdown run that still is the longest in Super Bowl history.

But once Bill Cowher resigned as coach after the 2006 season, Starks lost his starting job at right tackle to Willie Colon. During the 2007 training camp – Mike Tomlin’s first as the Steelers’ coach – Starks began the summer at right tackle but then was switched to the left side as a backup to Marvel Smith. That move allowed Colon to entrench himself at right tackle and Starks began the season as a backup.

He ended up starting four games in 2007 because of injuries – all at left tackle - before getting injured himself late in the season and ending up on the injured reserve list for the AFC Wild Card Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

During the 2008 offseason, Starks appeared to be an example of a disagreement between the personnel department and the coaching staff, because even though he was slapped with the transition tag that guaranteed him a salary of $6.9 million he opened training camp, and then the regular season as well, as a backup.

The low point for Starks likely was the Oct. 5 game against the Jaguars in Jacksonville. There, Marvel Smith was injured and couldn’t continue, and the decision on the sideline was to replace Smith with Trai Essex at left tackle instead of Starks.

But Starks came back to start the remainder of the season at left tackle, plus all three postseason games, including the Super Bowl XLIII win over the Arizona Cardinals. And now he has the long-term security he was seeking all along, and the Steelers have a more manageable salary cap situation.

“We now have guys you know are going to be here and you can count on, the guys who are rocks on the line,” said Starks. “I am happy to hopefully be one of those rocks and not a pebble on that line.”

Zachintosh66
06-23-2009, 02:32 PM
im cool with this... Starks isnt a probelm up front. Hopefully this takes some weight off the salary cap (not sure how all that works tho). :yellowthumb:

Silverback 92
06-23-2009, 02:46 PM
what ever ,they pay him 26 mill with 10 guaranteed that is to much , Im hoping he earns it however

BlitzburghNation
06-23-2009, 03:34 PM
Nice guy and I hope he plays to his potential,,,,,,we've all seen him good & Bad !!!!

Let's just hope the (PAID NOW AGAIN) good starks shows up on the field :crossfingers:

DIESELMAN
06-23-2009, 04:27 PM
About damn time.....He'll be getting the tag amount as his signing bonus, which is spread out over the life of the contract and his yearly salary definitely frees up cap space.

Troyisabeast_43
06-23-2009, 05:04 PM
People can say what they want about Starks and complain all they want about the guy but the bottom line is the Steelers have won 2 Super Bowls while he was a starter on the offensive line at 2 different positions. So apparently the guy is doing something right and isnt as bad as people make him out to be.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-23-2009, 05:14 PM
Im just glad it's done and we can get some cap breathing room for the future. For what it's worth if the guy is going to be here we might as well make it cap friendly and see what he can do for us. 43 is right, we did win 2 super bowls with him in the lineup, for better or worse. He's not the worse OL we have by any means but since the front office isn't going to make any dramatic changes we'll just hope he can continue to get better.

BlacknGold Bleeder
06-23-2009, 05:33 PM
When he is on he's ok ,just glad they freed up some cap space...never know it may make him easier to trade....

HUNT4SEVEN
06-23-2009, 06:44 PM
:clap::clap: It's about GOT DA#$ TIME!!!!!!:cursin: They say it suppose to save 3 million in cap space, i will say what 43 said we did win two superbowls with him playing both tackle postions, i'm just glad this deal is finally done!

cmerrifield
06-23-2009, 07:37 PM
This deal was less than I thought it would require. I wonder if some of the team was putting pressure on him. 10mil is a lot less guaranteed money that I thought it would take. So I am pretty happy, now as long as Hills continues to get better we can let Colon walk next year or move him inside.

Black@Gold Forever32
06-23-2009, 08:31 PM
I have been one of Stark's biggest critics...He is better on the left side then the right and really there isn't anybody on the roster ready to step up to be the future at LT....So I'm happy the Steelers have reached a four year deal with Starks.......I don't think his contract is that high really......Going rate for starting OT......Only 10 million is guranteed......

andyg1984
06-23-2009, 08:43 PM
glad the deal is done (seems like ev1 else is) .. it does not seem that we will be picking super early anytime soon, so "locking" in an elite LT via draft was not only unrealistic, but given how "young talent is paid before it is displayed" not sure we wanted to eat even more cap that way .. going after a proven guy via FA you almost always overpay .. Max already knows our system .. one thing to be encouraged of is that you can typically find value at C and RT where we usually pick

ejsteeler
06-23-2009, 08:58 PM
Great! Now get Miller and Reed signed before the season. :2cents:

Stlrs4Life
06-23-2009, 09:31 PM
Im just glad it's done and we can get some cap breathing room for the future. For what it's worth if the guy is going to be here we might as well make it cap friendly and see what he can do for us. 43 is right, we did win 2 super bowls with him in the lineup, for better or worse. He's not the worse OL we have by any means but since the front office isn't going to make any dramatic changes we'll just hope he can continue to get better.


Agree. Now do you think we can sign another upcoming FA?


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4281262

Updated: June 23, 2009, 12:44 PM ET
Source: Starks get $26.3M contract


Comment (http://myespn.go.com/conversation/story?id=4281262) Email (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4281262#) Print (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=4281262&type=story) Share (http://javascript%3cb%3e%3c/b%3E:void%280%29;)
By John Clayton
ESPN.com
Archive (http://search.espn.go.com/john-clayton/)

The Pittsburgh Steelers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=pit) have signed left tackle Max Starks (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=5600) to a $26.3 million, four-year contract, according to a source.
http://a.espncdn.com/i/headshots/nfl/players/65/5600.jpg (http://a.espncdn.com/i/headshots/nfl/players/65/5600.jpg)
Starks
Included in the deal is $10 million in guaranteed money, the source said. The Steelers announced the deal Tuesday but did not give financial details. Starks is signed through 2012.
The agreement between the Steelers and Starks ends a two-year stretch in which Starks, as a transition player in 2008 and the franchise player in 2009, ate up a lot of Pittsburgh's cap room.

DanRooney
06-23-2009, 09:39 PM
Great! Now get Miller and Reed signed before the season. :2cents:

Miller will be a restricted FA if I'm not mistaken.

I hope Clark is the priority. Just look at the decline in the secondary in 07 after he went down in Denver. Polamalu can't do half of what he does without him back there. Mundy can take over for relief (i.e. Tyrone Carter) but we need Clark!

Zachintosh66
06-23-2009, 09:58 PM
Steelers | Starks deal saves cap room
Tue, 23 Jun 2009 10:48:19 -0700

James Walker, of ESPN.com, reports the Pittsburgh Steelers saved roughly $3 million in cap space for the 2009 season after signing OT Max Starks to a four-year, $26.3 million deal Tuesday, June 23.

Iron City South
06-23-2009, 11:35 PM
Bottom line here is that Starks said he wanted to stay in Pittsburgh because he likes the team chemistry, the franchise, and the fans ..... and he made a deal that was good for both sides.

This is how good faith negotiating and contractual arrangements should work .....

igor0190
06-24-2009, 12:47 AM
Who's next?

I'm hoping Heath Miller. I would love to see him locked up for 5-6 years! PLEASE

steeler875
06-24-2009, 11:47 AM
im cool with this... Starks isnt a probelm up front. Hopefully this takes some weight off the salary cap (not sure how all that works tho). :yellowthumb:

From my understanding he took off 2 million.i could be wrong,but i think i read that right.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-24-2009, 01:34 PM
I have been one of Stark's biggest critics...He is better on the left side then the right and really there isn't anybody on the roster ready to step up to be the future at LT....So I'm happy the Steelers have reached a four year deal with Starks.......I don't think his contract is that high really......Going rate for starting OT......Only 10 million is guranteed......


Considering the 8 million he got last year the dude definitely isnt hurting for money these days that for sure.