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FourThreeMafia
04-19-2008, 05:32 PM
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.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3354694

While I hate the idea of paying Starks money he doesnt deserve, Im not too mad about this. Its not like the Steelers would spend that money anywhere else, and we are hurting on the line as is.

It also gives us another year to evaluate him, before giving him a long term deal.

Still, it makes me question whether the Steelers will spend a first round pick on an OLineman, unless its Albert.

Time will tell.

OneForTheToe
04-19-2008, 05:49 PM
Wow, that is a lot of mula for Starks. I'm a little surprised the Steelers didn’t pull the offer when it became apparent that they would not be able to work out a long term deal. On the other hand, I am happy he is here. It also makes me think again that OT will be a high draft pick, since we could lose both Smith and Starks after next season.

As for putting out the money, I guess the Steelers aren’t really putting out that much more cash for this season than if they had worked out a long-term deal. After all, there is no pro-rated signing bonus here.

Preacher
04-19-2008, 06:35 PM
Wow, that is a lot of mula for Starks. I'm a little surprised the Steelers didn?t pull the offer when it became apparent that they would not be able to work out a long term deal. On the other hand, I am happy he is here. It also makes me think again that OT will be a high draft pick, since we could lose both Smith and Starks after next season.

As for putting out the money, I guess the Steelers aren?t really putting out that much more cash for this season than if they had worked out a long-term deal. After all, there is no pro-rated signing bonus here.


Exactly. . . . it is a short term fix that doesn't tie our hands long term. It is actually a very wise move. Watch him start this year on the left side. If he makes it, He gets tagged again next year and signs a long term contract when he realizes the Steelers don't want him to leave.

SteelerFanInATL
04-19-2008, 07:04 PM
IMO it's definately a sigh of things to come in the draft. Looks like we take an OT in the 1st or 2nd round, allowing him to watch, learn, and see some action, getting him ready to start in his second season. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. :hunch:
:tt::tt02:

HometownGal
04-19-2008, 07:09 PM
I've always been a supporter of Max, but 6.875 mil to a guy who hasn't been all that consistent over the past 2 seasons? I just have to trust that the Steelers know what they are doing here - that is why I'm not an NFL coach and just a fan - LOL!

Rhee Rhee
04-19-2008, 07:20 PM
it sort of bothers me that a guy who didnt start last season.. and got benched in favor for a player who was a career OG gets 7 million...

but if he ends up playing lights out the entire season at LT or RT i'll look like an idiot for saying that..

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-19-2008, 08:16 PM
I'm surprised they didnt work out a deal other than that kind of $$ and cap hit.

If he competes in camp and loses our to Smith, Colon or a rookie draft pick. Its a lot to pay a guy that just drinks gatorade and blocks for FG.

Preacher
04-19-2008, 09:02 PM
Funny how we call the Rooney's cheap, yet we are the ones who are forgetting the market forces right now.

6.5 million with no lasting cap hit is nothing to spend on a lineman right now to see how he will fit into the future. We could have dropped him, and picked up a FA less money (maybe a quarter less), and then was stuck with him for 4 or 5 years as he underperforms or doesn't pickup the blocking schemes.

No, I say give the extra 25% and last chance to someone who already knows the system and we can dump next year without any hit if he doesn't work out.

FourThreeMafia
04-19-2008, 09:49 PM
Funny how we call the Rooney's cheap, yet we are the ones who are forgetting the market forces right now.

6.5 million with no lasting cap hit is nothing to spend on a lineman right now to see how he will fit into the future. We could have dropped him, and picked up a FA less money (maybe a quarter less), and then was stuck with him for 4 or 5 years as he underperforms or doesn't pickup the blocking schemes.

No, I say give the extra 25% and last chance to someone who already knows the system and we can dump next year without any hit if he doesn't work out.

I completely agree. We made the mistake of signing Simmons to a long term contract he didnt deserve. Hope we dont make that mistake twice.

BlastFurnace
04-19-2008, 11:11 PM
We could still be negotiating with him for a long term deal...couldn't we.

, if the Steelers have any kind of vision for Max at LT, if Smith is healthy....Smith will start. That leaves Max and Smith as UFA's next offseason with no one currently on the roster to replace them....unless Capizzi pulls something out of his backside or we draft a future LT.

Davison_K
04-19-2008, 11:44 PM
That is a lot of money for Starks. I like him though and I hope he does well and we give him a longterm deal.

Bobby_Oler
04-20-2008, 01:15 AM
A long term deal is still in both side's best interest. Starks gained absolutely no attention from the free agent market; if he had, a team would have offered him a contract that said "And a $15 million bonus if he plays more than four games at Heinz Field" or something like that - the poison pill. When Starks is in shape, he's a great lineman who proved he can play right or left tackle, but when he's overweight, speed rushers fly by him. I would be surprised if Starx wasn't locked up for a long term deal by training camp, but I can't help thinking that whatever amount he gets will be way too much. He's a backup tackle (at the moment) and may or may not start in 2008. If he doesn't, then his $6.8 million self will be nothing but a benchwarmer - I sure would've liked to see the Steelers send some of that money Faneca's way.

Time will tell for Starks. I think he's solid, maybe slightly better than that, but this is a lot of money for a team with cap issues. We'll see how this effects draft day in a little less than a week

Preacher
04-20-2008, 02:56 AM
We could still be negotiating with him for a long term deal...couldn't we.

, if the Steelers have any kind of vision for Max at LT, if Smith is healthy....Smith will start. That leaves Max and Smith as UFA's next offseason with no one currently on the roster to replace them....unless Capizzi pulls something out of his backside or we draft a future LT.

I am not sure that Smith starts at LT if he is healthy. Fact is, he is no longer our future there. He isn't really our present anymore. Expect this to be his last year for us. I see Starks playing there this year to see if he is the future. I see Smith possibly moving hover to RT to push for that position. If he makes it, we could even see Simmons be tried at Center or LG to push the F.A./Draft pick/Vets. that we have there now or going there.

All in all, it is very up in the air. I don't think we can say for sure that ANYONE WILL start at that Oline.

Galax Steeler
04-20-2008, 07:17 AM
I think it is a smart move like someone said earlier not sighning him to a long term contract we can see if he will pan out this year and maybe draft someone and be grooming him for next year.

19ward86
04-20-2008, 09:03 AM
Soooooooo, we have like $1.1 mil to sign 6 draft picks...bye bye to:

Sean Mahan, Najeh Davenport, Tyrone Carter...

VTsteel
04-20-2008, 09:57 AM
I like the 1 year deal. Being that it's just 1 year gives Max great incentive to perform this year and prove (or not) that he's worthy of an extended deal. I bet Max plays lights-out this year - And barring injury, signs a long term contract next year.

Also, I too am of the belief that this is Marvel's last year with the Steelers. That being said . . . and the uncertainty with Max's performance this coming season and lack of real depth at OT - I would be floored if the Steelers didn't draft an OT with one of the first two picks.

lilyoder6
04-20-2008, 10:19 AM
yeah that does leave us a very lil amount of money to sing our draft piks.. but i think our fo knows what they are doing.. it's do or die 4 starks this yr

revefsreleets
04-20-2008, 10:50 AM
Starks played well at the end of the season last year. Bear in mind there was a new blocking scheme, and the Steelers were playing games moving guys all over the line all the way through training camp (which is how he lost his job in the first place). It's absolutely obvious to me that the Steelers have a plan for Starks to start this year at RT if Smith is back in proper form, or LT if he's not. If he is in shape and gets his reps, he'll be fine.

Steeldude
04-20-2008, 11:30 AM
why not switch smith and starks? starks is obviously(appears that way) better on the left side and smith was once a RT.

my opinion on the O-line...

LT - starks
LG - simmons
C - hartwig/stapleton
RG - colon
RT - smith

Preacher
04-20-2008, 11:41 AM
why not switch smith and starks? starks is obviously(appears that way) better on the left side and smith was once a RT.

my opinion on the O-line...

LT - starks
LG - simmons
C - hartwig/stapleton
RG - colon
RT - smith

That was actually my point as well... Then you draft a guard and a tackle to push on both positions... Seems to me that would be a good way to go for this year.

Edman
04-20-2008, 12:50 PM
I have a feeling that this may be Marvel's last year with the Steelers.

Starks came in and filled in admirably. The problems with the Offensive line last year was not speed rushers outside, it was big guys inside. Mahan is not a Center, Faneca is past his prime, and Simmons is Simmons. What the Steelers need is are strong, physical guys on the inside. Is Hartwig that ox?

Mistah_Q
04-20-2008, 01:01 PM
Even though signed, they can still revoke the transition tag up until July 22nd if they work out a longer term deal, or sign/draft someone else.

So Draft Day won't be the end-all/be-all here; the June 1st cuts might make things interesting as well.

BettisFan
04-20-2008, 02:45 PM
i hope he has a contract year and plays amazing if not by starks

Elvis
04-20-2008, 04:21 PM
I think that the money is a little too much for Starks, but he does know our blocking schemes.. whether he perfects them or not has yet to be seen. But just remember folks.. We won a super bowl 3 years ago with the young man at RT, so he has got experience.I think that the guy can still play, but Tomlin and Co. cant be switching the players all around on the offensive lineman in the preseason. I think that that is not the way to have your line gel with each other.
:tt02:

Give It To Abercrombie
04-20-2008, 10:02 PM
I am not saying this will happen, but it's been in the back of my mind for months now.

Starks plays LT this year. He did fairly well last year in the little time he had. Better than his play on the right side.

Smith moves from LT back to RT where he started. Easier on his surgically repaired back.

We draft someone who can pancake people at RT for years to come and his first year is spent learning unless someone gets hurt. Then he takes over after Smith leaves via free agency.

Not what I expect, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

BettisFan
04-20-2008, 10:41 PM
I am not saying this will happen, but it's been in the back of my mind for months now.

Starks plays LT this year. He did fairly well last year in the little time he had. Better than his play on the right side.

Smith moves from LT back to RT where he started. Easier on his surgically repaired back.

We draft someone who can pancake people at RT for years to come and his first year is spent learning unless someone gets hurt. Then he takes over after Smith leaves via free agency.

Not what I expect, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

interesting but dont think it will happend

Mistah_Q
04-21-2008, 12:08 AM
interesting but dont think it will happendI wouldn't be surprised at all.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if we don't even draft a tackle. If Starks on the left, with Essex behind him, and Smith on the right, with Capizzi behind him, is in the cards. . I"m a bit uneasy, but I can accept it, then we have

.......LT................LG.....................C. ...................RG.....................RT...... ...
...Starks.........Mahan..............Hartwig...... ..Simmons..........M.Smith....
...Essex.......Kemoeatu.........Stapleton.......Co lon................Capizzi.....

In this scenario it all rides on how well Marvel's back is doing, but otherwise. . . unless Chris Williams magically falls to us, there might not be a tackle worth taking really. Sure you want to stay young, but nobody on that list is even thirty years old. Smith will turn 30 just before the season, Hartwig will turn 30 during the season (irrelevant not being a tackle anyways), everyone else is younger. Tackle I'll be satisfied with a solid looking mid-rounder, over a boom-or-probably-bust first round reach.

Guard is another story. . there are a lot of players throughout the first three or four rounds who would be nice upgrades. Chilo Rachal in the second looks very good to me, could probably start immediately and allow us to cut Mahan, and I like him more than I like Albert.

I feel like elaborating more but I just got home from a concert and have to wake up somewhat early, so I'm a bit tuckered out.

Welcome To Smashmouth
04-21-2008, 02:38 AM
This is the most absurd moves Steeler fans will hear, and there is so very much reason to point the finger at the organization on this one. Why....Why Why Why would we make a linemen we dubbed good enough to be nothing but a backup on this team the 2nd highest player behind a lone Ben??? Yes, Max 'Backup' Starks now makes more than Troy, Hines, Etc. Etc. Etc......as a team with little cap space to begin with, this move makes me borderline furious.....I haven't been urged to criticize the organization this hard since Porter was cut, and that says a lot in my town

Preacher
04-21-2008, 03:12 AM
This is the most absurd moves Steeler fans will hear, and there is so very much reason to point the finger at the organization on this one. Why....Why Why Why would we make a linemen we dubbed good enough to be nothing but a backup on this team the 2nd highest player behind a lone Ben??? Yes, Max 'Backup' Starks now makes more than Troy, Hines, Etc. Etc. Etc......as a team with little cap space to begin with, this move makes me borderline furious.....I haven't been urged to criticize the organization this hard since Porter was cut, and that says a lot in my town

Why??? Well, once again...

Funny how we call the Rooney's cheap, yet we are the ones who are forgetting the market forces right now.

6.5 million with no lasting cap hit is nothing to spend on a lineman right now to see how he will fit into the future. We could have dropped him, and picked up a FA less money (maybe a quarter less), and then was stuck with him for 4 or 5 years as he underperforms or doesn't pickup the blocking schemes.

No, I say give the extra 25% and last chance to someone who already knows the system and we can dump next year without any hit if he doesn't work out.

Don't forget, he started at the end of last year on the right side and played VERY WELL. He is a YOUNG player.. only 4 years or so in the league. We make the shift, let him play a year at LT and evaluate him.

Sure, it may LOOK like more money than the other players... but when you look at bonus and cap hit... the Steelers are getting off CHEAP.

revefsreleets
04-21-2008, 09:19 AM
Colon also can slide out and play Tackle in a pinch. It does seem to me that OT may not be in the cards after all, but OG certianly may be. I'm also curious if they have ruled out drafting a Center. Kory Lichtensteiger out of Bowling Green is intriguing and may linger.

Lord Stiller
04-21-2008, 10:12 AM
I agree with Starks at LT and Smith at RT. I also agree that we should draft a tackle before an interior lineman. However, I doubt Mahan will be starting. Simmons got the big money and will be moving to LG where his mobility can be utilized in the running game. Colon/Kemo will compete for starting RG. Mahan will be an expensive backup

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-21-2008, 10:59 AM
[QUOTE=Mistah_Q;387834]Even though signed, they can still revoke the transition tag up until July 22nd if they work out a longer term deal, or sign/draft someone else.
QUOTE]

This is interesting!! If the Steelers get a OT in the draft that they like, they can then make the decision to sign Starks to a longer term deal and reduce the cap hit, with the mindset that he and the rookie are the OT's of the future.

Otherwise, they leave his contract and let him go next year with the plan on signing Smith for another 4 years.

Lord Stiller
04-21-2008, 11:01 AM
Otherwise, they leave his contract and let him go next year with the plan on signing Smith for another 4 years.

Smith might retire before this season or he might play 1 more season.

Signing Smith for 4 years is absolutely ridiculous and won't happen. Can we be realistic about things here?

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-21-2008, 11:05 AM
I agree with Starks at LT and Smith at RT. I also agree that we should draft a tackle before an interior lineman. However, I doubt Mahan will be starting. Simmons got the big money and will be moving to LG where his mobility can be utilized in the running game. Colon/Kemo will compete for starting RG. Mahan will be an expensive backup

First, I dont see how Starks somehow is better at LT than a healthy Marvel Smith. He was the backup RT last season and only played well in the game in the muck.

Second, I believe you are right that Mahan will not start at center and I hope he doesnt win one of the guard spots either.

Finally, Simmons moving to LG because he got paid will probably not happen. He has experience playing the right side and experience playing next to both Colon and Starks which is important.

If you move Simmons to the LG position it means every O lineman will either be in a new position or have somebody new next to him and that isnt good. Continuity on the O line is important, as is knowing and trusting what the guy next to you will do.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-21-2008, 11:20 AM
Smith might retire before this season or he might play 1 more season.

Signing Smith for 4 years is absolutely ridiculous and won't happen. Can we be realistic about things here?

I think I am very realistic. Ed Bouchette thinks so too....here is his response when asked if the Steelers should cut Smith.

Ed Bouchette: After watching their line play, you want them to cut one of their best linemen? His back injury was corrected by minor back surgery. He'll be fine. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08008/847616-66.stm

Here is what Tomlin said about Smith at the spring meeting.

Offensive tackle Marvel Smith, who had minor back surgery in December, is doing well and working out with his teammates. "We expect him to be ready to go." http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08091/869287-66.stm?cmpid=HBEHTML

Here is another article stating Smith's relative youth and experience.

At 29, Smith, if healthy, should have at least three or four more quality years remaining since he's still relatively young for his position. Not only does Smith rank among the league's seven highest-paid left tackles, he's the only one under 30 (his birthday is Aug. 6). http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_553859.html

The more unrealistic situation that i can see is Max Starks playing LT

Lord Stiller
04-21-2008, 11:49 AM
First, I dont see how Starks somehow is better at LT than a healthy Marvel Smith. He was the backup RT last season and only played well in the game in the muck.

Starks has proven to be good at LT and bad at RT.

Smith is not healthy, he had back surgery. Smith has alraedy talked about retiring and leaving the NFL in somewhat good health.

Then why did we give Starks 7 mill?


Finally, Simmons moving to LG because he got paid will probably not happen. He has experience playing the right side and experience playing next to both Colon and Starks which is important.

If you move Simmons to the LG position it means every O lineman will either be in a new position or have somebody new next to him and that isnt good. Continuity on the O line is important, as is knowing and trusting what the guy next to you will do.

Steelers running game is built around the LG pulling and has been for years. Simmons is mobile and can handle that. Can you see Colon or Kemo pulling and running down field leading Parker? lol, i sure cant

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-21-2008, 12:56 PM
Starks has proven to be good at LT and bad at RT.

Smith is not healthy, he had back surgery. Smith has alraedy talked about retiring and leaving the NFL in somewhat good health.

Then why did we give Starks 7 mill?





Where is the proof that Starks is a good LT and bad RT?? Link please. Here is a report from preseason when the Steelers tried Starks at LT and he gave up 2 sacks against the Packers.

The Steelers are looking at Starks, the starter at right tackle, at left tackle as a possible backup to Smith. Starks played left tackle his final two seasons at Florida, but, until training camp, had not lined up there in four seasons with the Steelers......Then again, after what has happened the past two games, the Steelers might stop looking at Starks at left tackle. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07224/808984-66.stm

Also, do you have a link to where Marvel Smith said he was going to retire?? This is what I have seen.

Left tackle Marvel Smith is expected to make a full recovery from the back problems that limited him to 12 games last season and required surgery.
"Marvel is a competitor," Tomlin said. "He's going to do what it takes to get back and be ready to play." http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_559854.html

Why did we give Starks 7mil???? Security. If they cant find an OT in the draft the depth chart would be Smith, Colon, Essex. Starks is still young and I expect to see his deal extended to reduce the cap hit, or he will get his $7mil to sit on the pine as he wont beat out Colon again.

tony hipchest
04-21-2008, 01:03 PM
worth it or not, starks salary is already factored into the budget much like duce staleys in his final 2 years. starks cap hit definitely isnt gonna kill us, even if we dont quite understand what lies in the future beyond 08. we got what we got and are just about set.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-21-2008, 01:22 PM
Steelers running game is built around the LG pulling and has been for years. Simmons is mobile and can handle that. Can you see Colon or Kemo pulling and running down field leading Parker? lol, i sure cant

Steelers running game has been built around a big FB lead blocking for a big RB for years......I guess you either missed last seasons games or things migh have changed around here:noidea:

The only reason it looked like the LG pulling was successful was because Faneca was the best OR in football for the past 7 or 8 years.

Most on this board that have ever played O line, coached O line or called a game as an O-coordinator, even in Pop Warner would know that you need balance and can run the right side just as good as the left. Most times you run to where you have the best matchup and where the weakest defensive gap is.

As for Kemoateu being able to pull. He is quick enough to trap the D lineman or LB, depending on how the play is supposed to be blocked.

Uikelotu "Chris" Kemoeatu OG Utah 6'4" 345
Kemoeatu is a good athlete with above-average quickness, agility and body control for a player his size. He played left offensive guard during his first two years before shifting to the right side. He has natural strength and mass and can simply decleat defenders that get in his way, using his size with great effectiveness to gain advantage. Kemoeatu is not a typical big man who will lean into a defender and occupy space. He comes off the snap at a good pad level and shows very good knee bend and hip flexibility, considering the frame he is carrying. This guy is a mean blocker, and has been accused of being a dirty player. http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=633

Think of Parkers 75 yard run in the SB XL.....Faneca was not downfield "lead blocking" for a guy with 4.3 speed.(how is a lineman gonna "lead block for FWP?...lol).....he was trapping the defender at the LOS. Kemo can do that and its what is expected of most trap blocks, unless the OG needs to get to the 2nd level and seal a LB.

Easier to plug Kemo in at LG than shuffle up your O line because you wanna run to the right side.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-21-2008, 01:24 PM
worth it or not, starks salary is already factored into the budget much like duce staleys in his final 2 years. starks cap hit definitely isnt gonna kill us, even if we dont quite understand what lies in the future beyond 08. we got what we got and are just about set.

Yeah, and like Mista Q posted, it looks like the Steelers can still revoke the tag up until July 22nd to rework a deal and reduce the cap hit anyways.

The_WARDen
04-21-2008, 01:25 PM
I've always been a supporter of Max, but 6.875 mil to a guy who hasn't been all that consistent over the past 2 seasons? I just have to trust that the Steelers know what they are doing here - that is why I'm not an NFL coach and just a fan - LOL!

that's just it...after the recent play of the Oline, I don't have the confidence that they know what they're doing.

Lord Stiller
04-21-2008, 01:30 PM
Where is the proof that Starks is a good LT and bad RT?? Link please. Here is a report from preseason when the Steelers tried Starks at LT and he gave up 2 sacks against the Packers.

I guess you didnt watch the games last season?

Starks started 3-4 games at LT and was good (better than Smith). I dont need an Ed Bouchette article to form my opinions around

steelreserve
04-21-2008, 02:12 PM
That's more money than you should pay a lineman even if he was an All-Pro.

It's certainly way more than you should be paying just to buy yourself a year to figure out if he's going to be any good. We should've figured out by now what Starks was worth to us, and since we didn't, it came back to bite us in the ass. We could've really used an extra $7 million to bring in one more missing piece somewhere else.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-21-2008, 02:28 PM
I guess you didnt watch the games last season?

Starks started 3-4 games at LT and was good (better than Smith). I dont need an Ed Bouchette article to form my opinions around

Nope, I watched all the games last season and have been watching for 30 years. Starks played well on poor field conditions against the Jags and Dolphins and was average in the games against the Bengals and Patriots.

I dont need EB's articles to judge O line play and can tell you that Smith's technique is vastly superior to Starks and that Smith was having a pro bowl year the first 6 weeks until he suffered the back injury.

If you are willing to anoint Starks (who is a backup RT that lost his starting job to a 2nd year guard from Hofstra) as the starting LT because of 4 games where the team went 2-2......... over a former pro bowl LT that has been there since 2003 and is a master technician and somebody that works at his craft...........then we will have to agree to disagree.

Dino 6 Rings
04-21-2008, 04:50 PM
It could be the Steelers doubt they will get a potential starter on O-line that late in the draft and are very hesitant to make a move on draft day to jump up to grab the guy they want. This is probably and insurance policy in case things don't fall the way they want them to next Saturday.

Lord Stiller
04-21-2008, 06:58 PM
It could be the Steelers doubt they will get a potential starter on O-line that late in the draft and are very hesitant to make a move on draft day to jump up to grab the guy they want. This is probably and insurance policy in case things don't fall the way they want them to next Saturday.

Exactly right

Look for the Steelers to draft D-line and skilled positions early on