http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08051/859113-66.stmThe Steelers took a big step today toward trying to solidify their offensive line by placing the "transition" tag on unrestricted tackle Max Starks -- a move that means the team will have to pay Starks the average of the top 10 tackles in the National Football League.
With the Steelers already expected to lose Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca in free agency, the move to keep Starks also means the team won't have to be as active in free agency in an attempt to rebuild their offensive line.
Starks, a four-year veteran and two-year starter, lost his starting right tackle spot last season to Willie Colon, a move that all but signaled the end of his Steelers career. But when left tackle Marvel Smith was injured late in the season, Starks played so well at left tackle that he drastically increased his free-agent value and forced the Steelers to reconsider his value to the team.
By placing the transition tag on Starks, the Steelers also have first right of refusal should another team try to sign the 6-foot-8, 345-pound tackle.