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lamberts-lost-tooth
03-17-2008, 03:19 AM
Steelers' Max protection
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, March 17, 2008

The NFL salary cap is at an all-time high. Teams are spending money like they're playing Monopoly. Free-agent offensive tackles, especially those bearing Super Bowl rings, are supposedly in huge demand.
So why is Max Starks still without a new contract?

And why does it seem like the Steelers know something that the rest of us don't?

Starks appeared to be in line for a significant pay increase when the Steelers made him a transition free agent at a cost of $6.9 million in 2008.

If Starks finds a buyer, it forces the Steelers to ante up nearly $7 million if they want to keep him, or lose him without compensation.
The Steelers, who have legitimate offensive line concerns, gambled teams wouldn't be beating down Starks' door.

Turns out, the Steelers were right.

Remind me to ask Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert to select my lottery numbers the next time I see him.

Unless some team has a change of heart and lavishes major dollars on Starks, he'll have to play on the Steelers' terms, or not play at all next season.

So far, so good for the Steelers -- and still no offers that we know of for Starks.

Hard to figure how the Steelers knew how the free-agent market would play out, especially the market for offensive linemen in a league desperate for tackles -- particulary tackles who have started in a Super Bowl.

At 26, Starks is still relatively young.

He was the starting right tackle in 2005. According to the Steelers media guide, he threw a key block during Willie Parker's record 75-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XL.

Starks was the starting right tackle for 14 games in 2006. Depending on who you ask, he missed the last two games either because of a knee injury, or because the Steelers wanted to take a look at rookie Willie Colon, a fourth-round draft pick.

Apparently, the new coach saw the same thing the old coach did, because Colon was the starting right tackle in 2007, with Starks backing him up. Starks moved over and displayed versatility at left tackle when he filled in for injured starter Marvel Smith late in the season.

Starks, though, hurt his knee in the final regular-season game at Baltimore. Little-used Trai Essex replaced Starks in the playoff game against Jacksonville.

Since the season ended, Starks has been rehabilitating his knee and waiting for the phone to ring with good news.

Any day now, Starks may land the big contract that could finally force the Steelers' hand. Yeah, and cigarettes don't cause cancer, either.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_557587.html

Galax Steeler
03-17-2008, 03:44 AM
That is really and interesting article I don't see another team paying starks that kind of money.

Steel Pit
03-17-2008, 04:04 AM
Nice article, that was pretty slick in how the Steelers handled this.

DACEB
03-17-2008, 06:53 AM
Nice article, that was pretty slick in how the Steelers handled this.

So far! I'll be happy when we sign him cheap and free up some cap room. The sooner the better, we missed out on Eugene Wilson already.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-17-2008, 09:06 AM
Nice article, that was pretty slick in how the Steelers handled this.

Yeah, but if Starks is upset how the Steelers handled this and prevented him from really testing the market to see what he could have made....he might decide not to negotiate. His options will be play for whatever contract the steelers offer, sign with another team for similar money when they pull the offer, or even sit out a year.

It still all depends on if he wants to be a Steeler.

Edman
03-17-2008, 10:22 AM
Why would Max be upset?

The Steelers put a transition tag on him, not a franchise tag. The object of the transition tag is giving an offer to a player, and seeing if others teams will match/surpass that offer. No offers from other teams have been made to Starks...yet.

rbryan
03-17-2008, 10:48 AM
Exactly, he has no reason to be upset, if anything it was almost like daring another team to make a run at him because we thought enough of him to use the Transition.

I think the injury is the real reason, It wouldn't surprise me if he's not ready to go by TC.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-17-2008, 11:27 AM
All the transition tag is really, is Franchise Tag Lite. It makes it more difficult for Starks to shop his services because the team that signed him would have to give up a 3rd round pick as well as the contract and the Steelers have the right to match that contract as well.

If Starks agrees for a mid level contract, then the Steelers just match it and he assumes that contract, but the fact a team has to give up a pick also, means they wont give him something that big that the Steelers would not match.

Its kind of like how Chris Canty got the 1st round tender offer and nobody is gonna go after him despite the fact he is a great fit for a 3-4DE, but it means they give up their 1st round pick. In Canty's case he is getting a contract this year.

In Starks case, he has the tag and apparently its gonna get pulled and he will never see that $7 mil a season. Its kind of a restraint of trade issue.

I have a similar situation in that I have a non-competition clause in my employment contract and another company wants to offer me more $$ , but is worried about incurring legal costs by hiring me. I never wanted the clause, but if I didnt sign it I would not have got the job. So I kind of resent that my employment mobility has been restricted......just like Starks might.

Haiku_Dirtt
03-17-2008, 11:47 AM
Anyone who can see Starks making 7 mil just simply did not watch one Steeler game. I'm stupified by the idea.

This doesn't make K.C. genius and able to pick lottery tickets. The premise for this article shows how little there is to report. We could have written this article two seasons ago.

What will make K.C. genius is how he digs us all out of the abyss from the 23rd slot. :coffee:

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-17-2008, 12:37 PM
Anyone who can see Starks making 7 mil just simply did not watch one Steeler game. I'm stupified by the idea.

This doesn't make K.C. genius and able to pick lottery tickets. The premise for this article shows how little there is to report. We could have written this article two seasons ago.

What will make K.C. genius is how he digs us all out of the abyss from the 23rd slot. :coffee:

Yeah, he was considered one of the top 10 FA linemen to be available, but no way he is worth $7mil and they will not pay him that.

It was a good idea to have the market set the price on Starks and slightly devalue him, so if he signs then they at least have a young veteran lineman to play either tackle spot rather than rely only on Colon, Essex and Smith recovering from surgery in the final year of his contract.

As for the abyss that is the AFC North championship team with a top ranked defense, frachise QB and league leading rusher before his injury. My dog can lead us out of that pretty easily.

rbryan
03-17-2008, 01:24 PM
All the transition tag is really, is Franchise Tag Lite. It makes it more difficult for Starks to shop his services because the team that signed him would have to give up a 3rd round pick as well as the contract and the Steelers have the right to match that contract as well.

If Starks agrees for a mid level contract, then the Steelers just match it and he assumes that contract, but the fact a team has to give up a pick also, means they wont give him something that big that the Steelers would not match.

Its kind of like how Chris Canty got the 1st round tender offer and nobody is gonna go after him despite the fact he is a great fit for a 3-4DE, but it means they give up their 1st round pick. In Canty's case he is getting a contract this year.

In Starks case, he has the tag and apparently its gonna get pulled and he will never see that $7 mil a season. Its kind of a restraint of trade issue.

I have a similar situation in that I have a non-competition clause in my employment contract and another company wants to offer me more $$ , but is worried about incurring legal costs by hiring me. I never wanted the clause, but if I didnt sign it I would not have got the job. So I kind of resent that my employment mobility has been restricted......just like Starks might.

There is no compensation due if Starks signs with another team. Steelers simply have the right to match any offer. There is no restriction on him signing elsewhere.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-17-2008, 01:42 PM
There is no compensation due if Starks signs with another team. Steelers simply have the right to match any offer. There is no restriction on him signing elsewhere.

Yeah, I thought that too, but found this article that confused the issue. The author must either be referring to an older rule, or be mistaken.

Players who have been designated with a franchise or transition tag have the right to explore free agency, but their teams get the right of first refusal if they sign an offer sheet with someone else. If they choose not to sign that offer sheet, they are entitled to a third-round pick in lieu of the transition-tagged player, and two first-round selections for the franchise-tagged player.

http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/21356.html

thanks,

OneForTheToe
03-17-2008, 02:46 PM
I think that article is wrong:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_553414.html

If the Steelers do not match an offer that is made to Starks, they will receive no compensation if he signs elsewhere.


http://www.vikings.com/NewsArticle_freeagencyterms21708.aspx

Transition tag – The designation given to a player by his team to restrict movement via free agency. Generally, a team has one transition tag per year at its disposal. However, a team can use either the franchise tag or transition tag in a given year, not both. The team must pay the transition player a minimum of the average of the top ten salaries of last season at the player’s position or 120 percent of the player’s salary the previous year, whichever is greater. A transition designation gives the club a first refusal right to match within seven days of an offer sheet given to the player by another club. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation.


There is one other important note regarding the franchise and transition tags. If either tag is accepted by a given player, those contracts are guaranteed to the player. NFL contracts are generally not guaranteed, but if a player is designated a franchise or transition player, his one-year contract is guaranteed.







http://football.about.com/cs/football101/a/franchisetransi.htm
transition player designation gives the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation. Transition players can be signed from March 3 through July 22."



And finally from the Steelers official site:


http://news.steelers.com/article/87243/
The most likely scenario in this case is Starks will receive an offer from another team that he finds acceptable, and then after the offers is presented to the Steelers they will have seven days to match it or lose Starks without any compensation.

19ward86
03-17-2008, 08:00 PM
If we can get him resigned before the draft i would be happy, 6.9 mil is around 4 mil more than a questionable backup should make.

lilyoder6
03-17-2008, 09:11 PM
that article is def wrong b/c if u are slapped with a franchise tag u can't go shopping thru fA.. u are stuck with the team 4 another yr unless they trade or cut u.. and giving up comp picks only go for rfa.. transition tags means u have a chance to give him another offer if another team offered him a contract

Galax Steeler
03-18-2008, 03:36 AM
If we can get him resigned before the draft i would be happy, 6.9 mil is around 4 mil more than a questionable backup should make.

Have to agree that we need to sign him before the draft.

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-18-2008, 11:53 AM
that article is def wrong b/c if u are slapped with a franchise tag u can't go shopping thru fA.. u are stuck with the team 4 another yr unless they trade or cut u.. and giving up comp picks only go for rfa.. transition tags means u have a chance to give him another offer if another team offered him a contract

Yes, if you are an "exclusive" Franchise tagged player you cant go shopping...but if you are a "non-exclusive " Franchise player then another team can sign you and the compensation is 2 first round picks.

If the player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries of last season at his position, or 120 percent of the player?s previous year?s salary, he becomes a ?non-exclusive? franchise player and can negotiate with other clubs. His old club can match a new club's offer, or receive two first-round draft choices if it decides not to match.

http://football.about.com/cs/football101/a/franchisetransi.htm

BettisFan
03-18-2008, 04:52 PM
He will be back

lilyoder6
03-18-2008, 05:14 PM
well if that is true i don;t think i have seen an "non-exclusive” franchise player... and i think if they can choose to do the 120% thing evry team would do that b/c it would a lot cheaper and they would let him go if someone offered him a better contract to get the 1st 2 picks in the draft

El-Gonzo Jackson
03-18-2008, 10:39 PM
Just google non-exclusive franchise tagged player and you will see a few. Here is a quote about Marcus Trufant being tagged as non exclusive.

Trufant was made a non-exclusive franchise player. That means the Seahawks will tender him a one-year offer worth a little bit less than $9.5 million. Trufant will be able to talk with other teams once free agency begins on Feb. 29, and he can sign an offer sheet, but the Seahawks would then have the right to either match the contract offer or receive two first-round picks as compensation from the team that gives him the offer sheet.

http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/seahawks/2008/02/21/trufant_nonexcl/

Steel Pit
03-18-2008, 11:11 PM
He'll re-sign and it won't be for the 6.9 or 7 million transition offer. The Steelers will sign him for 3 or 4 years somewhere in the range of 3.8 or 4 million a year. Mark my word.