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Author Topic: No, seriously, Starks signs  (Read 1479 times)
Captain Chaos
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« on: Apr 19, 2008 at 17:51 »

Starks signs $6.9 million tender contract with Steelers
By John Clayton
ESPN.com

Steelers tackle Max Starks cleared up any uncertainty about his feelings about playing for the Steelers in 2008 by signing his transition tender.

Starks, 26, was given the transition tender because the Steelers, who lost Alan Faneca to free agency, didn't want to suffer too big a loss on the offensive line. A year ago, center Jeff Hartings retired. Even though Starks didn't finish the season as the starter, the Steelers felt he was too valuable to lose.

As a transition player, Starks had the ability to sign with another team and give the Steelers a chance to match. By signing the tender, Starks will be with the team this year unless he is traded. Starks signed a one-year, $6.895 million contract.

Starks missed the end of the 2007 regular season and postseason after suffering damage to the meniscus cartilage in his right knee and requring surgery.

Starks started four games in place of tackle Marvel Smith in 2007. The four-year veteran was the starting right tackle for two years, but lost his job to second-year pro Willie Colon in training camp.


 
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 19, 2008 at 18:40 »

4  dat kida $ dey soulda signed Peneca dats nutty111
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 19, 2008 at 19:11 »

This is definitely the make or break year for Starks.  That's a lot of dough to pay someone who's never really proven himself.  If he struggles again this year, no way we bring him back next year.
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 19, 2008 at 20:04 »

Actually, I take this as a sign that Starks is gone after 2008.

If he was going to stay, they would've been able to sign him to an extension.

The good news is that if he desires a future blockbuster contract, then he better play well this year.

A question to the experts here...if we have a great OL draft, and it's apparent we don't need him by training camp, can we cut his ass and save the money?  

I know it would probably still count against the cap, but, it'd be nice for the FO have the option to save the dough.  
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 20, 2008 at 23:59 »

maybe they restructure this transition tag contract to a better cap contract for like 2 maybe 3 year deal ?
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 21, 2008 at 04:00 »

Can you guys explain this to me?  I just don't get this.  Why did we transitition him?  Is there an explination or is this a Matt Morris type front office move?  
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 21, 2008 at 07:46 »

Marvel will be 30 this year in August.  He's had a bad back, bad neck, and some bad edge play against speed rushers.  He's nowhere near the Pro Bowler he once was, and he's in the final year of his contract.

Max is 26, has played up and down here, but apparently lost the RT job because he just didn't listen to coaching as well as Colon did.  Once he got his ass serious, he played well enough to fill in at the far more difficult LT spot late in the season.  While I doubt that he can anchor that spot long-term, the coaches may see him at the very least as a guy who can be a swing man, if needed.  At best, he signs a long-term deal -- that's not off the board yet, folks -- and anchors RT, allowing Colon to move to his much more natural OG position.  Whether all that happens remains to be seen, but  consider:

Colbert believes OT talent runs three rounds deep this year.  Taking a R2-3 LT would mean that the player is viewed as something of a developmental prospect.  Given a year to sit behind Marvel would dovetail with taking a guy outside of R1.  Contrariwise, selecting a guy like Otah or Cherilus might indicate the coaches feel Starks can anchor LT.

I believe the FO is waiting to see how the draft shakes out to sign Nate W. and Starks to longer term deals.  Starks didn't shake up any free agent interest, with teams know we could match, and that gives us a position of negotiating power in the coming weeks.  If we take one of the big name WRs early, Nate may well be one and out here.

Another theory to throw out there is that with Smith, Starks, and Colon on board, and Essex seen as a reserve worth keeping, the FO might believe a healthy Smith is key to the LT spot, and could extend him with a short deal.  I don't necessarily like that, but the thinking might be that OT and OC have been fixed or gotten healthy in the off-season, with OG the sole spot of draft need.  That would then point to guys like Rachal or McGlynn in R2 or 3, if Albert is gone in R1.  With a big bubble of DL talent (Bryant, J. Jones, Langford) in R3, that would possibly allow 1. BPA, 2. OG/OL, 3. DL.  

In short, making a long-term deal before next Saturday ain't happening.  Once we see how that settles out, we'll see guys getting extended.  It'll make sense then.
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 07:04 »

Quote
Steelers' Colon could receive chance at left guard
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Buzz up!


With Max Starks signed for the upcoming season, the Steelers will take a look at Willie Colon at guard during offseason practices, which started Monday at the team's South Side facility.

Colon beat out Starks for the starting job at right tackle last season, but the Steelers have an opening at left guard because of the loss of Pro Bowler Alan Faneca to free agency.

Starks started four games at left tackle for Marvel Smith last season. Smith, who took part in yesterday's practice, apparently has made a full recovery from the back problems that plagued him in 2007.

The Steelers could move Colon to guard after seeing how he handles the position during offseason practices or have the third-year man and Starks again compete for the starting job at right tackle during training camp.

"They said that I'm starter-capable and that I'm flexible ... so we'll see where I fit," Starks said.

Starks recently signed the one-year deal that the Steelers had tendered him in February. The two sides continue to work toward a long-term contract extension, director of football operations Kevin Colbert said.

Starks is slated to make $6.9 million this season, and an agreement on an extension would give the Steelers more room under the salary cap and provide the fifth-year veteran with a measure of security.

"It still remains our goal and his goal and (Starks' agent) Eugene Parker (to agree on a long-term deal)," Colbert said, "so we're going to keep those talks alive because there are benefits for everybody involved."

So, good news on two fronts: the extension, and Colon to OG.
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 08:46 »

Quote
So, good news on two fronts: the extension, and Colon to OG.
Good news, IMHO. Colon at RG and Starks at RT is really my preferred right side OL configuration. Hartwig at C, so, that means Simmons to LG? Does that mean that Mahan rides the pine? And Kemo is still odd man out?

I really hope they jettison Mahan --  pending some juicy OL draft choices this weekend, of course.  
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 11:31 »

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juicy OL

I'm not sure that referring to large men as "juicy" is the best choice of words there, Lambert.  But that's just me   oo)

I am going to be POed if they take Cherilus at 1.23, unless there is a lot more to him that what I've seen.  

If Colon moves to LG, then perhaps the plan is to let Kemo and Simmons slug it out at RG?  I do not favor any oline plan that doesn't include major competition for PT between Simmons and someone.  
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 12:25 »

I won't be PO'd if they select Cherilus.  Says to me that Starks may be the long-term plan for LT, assuming they can get an extension done.  Starks C$2 won't be as hefty as Marvel's C$3.  Max at LT and Cherilus at RT in 2009?

Colon is not a good RT.  Might be pretty good at LG.  If so, I like a line of

My guess is Simmons' RG spot is his to keep.  Unless the Steelers plan to pay two backup guards starter money.  
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 12:58 »

I'm also OK with Cherilius (assuming no trade down).
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 14:14 »

I still don't see Starks as a long-term solution at left tackle.  With the Starks signing and both parties working towards an extension, I think that lowers the need to draft Cherilus.  

Ask yourself this question: since Trai Essex filled in OK at LT last year, would you bank the franchise on moving him there permanently?  How's it any different with Starks?
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 17:12 »

I never ever thought Essex filled in OK anywhere 'cept a Big and Tall size 56 waist.

Guess we'll see whether the Steelers offer Essex the transition tag next year.  

My point was that if they draft Cherilus and sign Starks to an extension, it suggests to me that the Steelers feel Starks fits in to their long-term plans.  I don't see, as many others don't, Cherilus as a LT in the NFL.  So I expect Starks would play LT.  

So that scenario wouldn't have me irked that the Steelers drafted Cherilus as I think he'll be a good RT.  

If the Steelers don't draft him, that's fine too.
 
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 18:08 »

I'm starting to re-evaluate my thought that OL is a first round no-brainer. If there is the expected run on OT (including Albert), the Starks and Hartwig moves might dictate a surprise.

I wouldn't be shocked now if we even went WR, if value is there. I would've been sick about this as little as a few weeks ago, but...
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« Reply #15 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 18:45 »

Quote
Ask yourself this question: since Trai Essex filled in OK at LT last year, would you bank the franchise on moving him there permanently? How's it any different with Starks?

I thought that Essex was adequate as a backup last year.  I felt that Starks was actually an improvement over Marvel, and I feel that he has more upside and potential than Essex to grow into the position.  

I'm not saying it's the spot for him, but I could see us trying to find out if he's the answer there.  
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #16 on: Apr 22, 2008 at 20:22 »

Quote
Quote
Ask yourself this question: since Trai Essex filled in OK at LT last year, would you bank the franchise on moving him there permanently? How's it any different with Starks?

I thought that Essex was adequate as a backup last year.  I felt that Starks was actually an improvement over Marvel, and I feel that he has more upside and potential than Essex to grow into the position.  

I'm not saying it's the spot for him, but I could see us trying to find out if he's the answer there.
I tend to agree, Preach.

I will point out that both of those clowns aren't exactly rooks, however.   Starks had plenty of playing time at RT to "develop."
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« Reply #17 on: Apr 24, 2008 at 01:05 »

I don't know what to make of the Tackle situation.  One thing is for sure, some questions will be answered this weekend.

I tend to think all of it means Marvel walks after this year.  I presume all line positions are open to be drafted at some point, but without knowing who, if any current player is in the running for an extension, flip a coin.

Might actually be a center? lol.
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« Reply #18 on: Apr 26, 2008 at 20:36 »

Given the day 1 draft, I'd presume Max is in the long term plans of the Steelers, and I'd expect them to get a long term deal done.   Whether it's to permanetly replace Colon at RT, or the future LT.  My thought is the latter.
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