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Thread: Steelers Resign Max Starks to long term deal

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  1. #1
    Draft Pick greg1964's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Woodbridge VA

    Steelers Resign Max Starks to long term deal

    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.”

  2. #2
    @CoachZach_ Zachintosh66's Avatar
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    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).
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  3. #3
    Draft Pick Silverback 92's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    what ever ,they pay him 26 mill with 10 guaranteed that is to much , Im hoping he earns it however

  4. #4
    BlitzburghNation's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    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

  5. #5
    Veteran DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Brandenburg, Ky.
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    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.

    If you don’t stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!

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  6. #6
    Top 30 Troyisabeast_43's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    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.

  7. #7
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Central PA.
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    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.

  8. #8
    BlacknGold Bleeder's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    da Burgh
    When he is on he's ok ,just glad they freed up some cap space...never know it may make him easier to trade....

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  9. #9

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    Dec 2007
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    It's about GOT DA#$ TIME!!!!!! 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!
    Last edited by HUNT4SEVEN; 06-23-2009 at 06:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Starter cmerrifield's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Wilmore KY
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    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.

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