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BlackGold4vr
02-19-2007, 09:37 AM
By Dale Lolley
For SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Feb 18, 2007

The next in a series: An early look at the Steelers' upcoming free agents and whether they should keep offensive tackle Max Starks or kick him to the curb.


The new coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers has a busy schedule, studying the team’s current roster, readying for the draft and settling itself in Pittsburgh.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to help them out a little by breaking down the team’s free agents and whether they fit into the team’s future plans or should be allowed to look for work elsewhere.

Next up on our list is right tackle Max Starks, a restricted free agent.


The only starter from this year’s team who is eligible to be a free agent, Starks could be someone opposing teams target among Steelers players.

At 6-8, 337 pounds, you’d expect Starks to dominate opponents with his sheer size. But more often than not, Starks’ size seems to work against him. He has trouble with outside speed rushers and just seems to lack overall consistency.

You could certainly make the argument that Starks is young and still has plenty of upside. At 25, he’s still maturing as a player and is young enough that he could play another 10 years. That alone could be intriguing considering he’s already got two years experience as a starter and has already started a Super Bowl.

But Starks has also had knee problems in back-to-back seasons, something that forced him to miss the team’s final two games of 2006. That opened the door for rookie Willie Colon to start the final two games and he played well enough to show the team it has other options at right tackle other than Starks.

And considering Starks’ size, you have to wonder if the knee problems won’t become a serious issue for him on down the line.

The guess here is that the Steelers will tender him with a mid-level offer to retain the first right of refusal to match any offers for him on the free agent market. That means if another team signs Starks and the Steelers choose not to match the offer, they would receive a third-round pick in exchange.

If Starks doesn’t get any offers, they’ll bring him back and let him play another season before making a long-term offer. He may have to go to camp with Colon pushing him hard this year, something that could bring out the best in Starks.

Considering what the Steelers have invested in him thus far and the position he plays, as long as he doesn’t receive an outlandish offer, he’s worth bringing back for at least another year. The Steelers have to find out what they have in Starks. And even if, by chance, he is beaten out by Colon, you can’t have enough offensive line depth.

Verdict: Keep him.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.

:iagree:

Couldn't have stated it better myself! Give him a 1 year offer and let him fight for his job with Willie. If another team wants to steal him we would get their 3rd round pick (If that would happen to be Arizona that would be the 69th pick overall). I believe this is a win/win situation!

:rockon:

Stairwayto7
02-19-2007, 09:39 AM
?? Not sure. I would like to keep. But I`m thinking Curb!

Ambridge
02-19-2007, 09:55 AM
I like Starks and I think the more experience and seasoning he gets he'll develop into a solid player.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-19-2007, 10:02 AM
Keep him....Tackles in this league are hard to find as it is and this draft is not deep with them at all. Tender him a safe offer for sure and as long as somebody doesn't offer him some ridiculous amount of money; match the offer if it comes and bring him back. I like what Colon has done but he's only played in 2 games so there's no way Im ready to name him the next starter for us at RT without giving him some more experience and time to develop.

AZ_Steeler
02-19-2007, 11:12 AM
I'm kind of torn :dunno: Willie was awesome last year, at times, but we all knew he would make some mistakes. Plus, if someone else does snag him the Steelers don't do to shabby when it comes to finding talent in the draft so I'm sure they would find someone to replace him long term.

I think TG has a pretty good plan... offer something respectable for a year and let him fight for it.

SteelersfaninPhilly
02-19-2007, 01:14 PM
Doesn't Starks have an offseason home in Arizona?

TEEMONT
02-19-2007, 01:47 PM
I think dude is from Florida....and I say keep him...we don't really have the depth to mess around this year.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-19-2007, 02:27 PM
I think dude is from Florida....and I say keep him...we don't really have the depth to mess around this year.


I agree.:bigthumb: I'm one of the biggest Starks bashers around. I like Starks but he gets pushed around to much for a man his size. But still like you said the Steelers don't have alot of depth when it comes to NFL experienced OT's. Plus Starks is still young and I think still can be a very good OT. I just wish he had more of a mean streak and would dominate mofe for a man his size.

Koopa
02-19-2007, 04:03 PM
i'd keep him unless someone offers to much, if he goes we get a 3 rounder so that could be good

and AZ, remember this is a new era, we don't know how tomlin and colbert will do finding talent in the draft, years past it was just stubborn cowher doing it his way, now we have a fresh start and we could get some good players

hell blalock might even be available in the second round, that would be a good pick up there

BB2W
02-19-2007, 07:27 PM
I say bring him back this saeson for sure, but Colon may be the future at right tackle. :2cents:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-19-2007, 07:38 PM
We're good on the LT with Marvel and Essex as his backup..but on the right side we need somebody to step up. I like the potential that Max has but 32 makes a good point that for a guy his size he needs to get more mean and stand his ground more instead of getting pushed back too often. OL is too important a position to not have good depth available.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-19-2007, 07:58 PM
We're good on the LT with Marvel and Essex as his backup..but on the right side we need somebody to step up. I like the potential that Max has but 32 makes a good point that for a guy his size he needs to get more mean and stand his ground more instead of getting pushed back too often. OL is too important a position to not have good depth available.

Dude I remember reading a article before the 2004 draft about Starks being to nice. You can tell he is a great guy and is to nice. Some have that nasty streak in them and some don't. I think he has all the potential in the world to be a very good OT in the NFL. So I'm far from giving up on him. If we could put Colon's attitude in Starks body. Wow we would have a player on our hands.lol

One thing that hurts Starks is his HT. He seems to struggle to get leverage at times. But he is still young so I say don't kick him to the curb at all.

PsychoWard
02-19-2007, 08:20 PM
i say keep him at least for another year he is a big boy!

SteelersfaninPhilly
02-19-2007, 08:49 PM
Keep him, but do not feed him. That should make him mean and nasty on game days :lol:

Blitzburgh55
02-19-2007, 09:15 PM
I hate Starks Kick him to the curb

SteelersWoman
02-20-2007, 01:01 PM
I just don't think you can "teach" meaness or aggressiveness. You CAN teach good fundamental body positioning/blocking, etc. however. If he could be [well] taught how to use his size to his advantage, we'd have a very formidable player.
I agree with those who say keep him, but make him fight for starting position. Maybe the thought of losing money/status will bring out some intensity and fight in him!