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mesaSteeler
02-23-2009, 06:43 AM
OT Starks thinking long term with Steelers
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_612987.html#
By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, February 23, 2009

Scott Brown is the Steelers beat writer. He can be reached via e-mail or 412-481-5432.

The Steelers have won a Super Bowl title with Max Starks starting at right tackle and at left tackle.

Starks said he prefers playing the latter position, and he got a strong indication this past week that the Steelers feel the same way.

The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Starks, guaranteeing him $8.451 million next season, and they are working toward signing the 6-foot-8, 344-pounder to a long-term deal.

Starks has yet to talk to coach Mike Tomlin about where he will play next season. But when asked if he is a left tackle after starting the Steelers' final 14 games there last season, Starks said, "I would like to think so. I imagine that will probably be discussed in our meetings."

The Steelers offensive line could look significantly different by the time Tomlin meets with his players.

Starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu and left tackle Marvel Smith become unrestricted free agents Friday unless they re-sign with the Steelers before then.

Director of football operations Kevin Colbert has said the Steelers have not ruled out re-signing any of their free agents.

Smith, however, has been plagued by back problems, and Starks' situation may make him even more expendable.

Kemoeatu, meanwhile, may want to see what offers he gets on the open market since he could be the most coveted guard in this year's free-agent class.

The Steelers are expected to meet with his agent early this week.

Starks signed the one-year tender offer the Steelers made to him last week. But his intention is still to work out a multi-year contract with the Steelers that will keep him in Pittsburgh beyond the 2009 season.

"You always want to go with the team that gave you your first opportunity," the 27-year-old Starks. "This is a great city, and I definitely want to continue my career here."

lilyoder6
02-23-2009, 07:17 AM
i wouldn't mind giving starks a decent long-term deal.. could erase the 8.5 mill hit this yr

Give It To Abercrombie
02-23-2009, 07:56 AM
4yrs at $26-28 million. Just a hunch. Am afraid he'll want more though.

KeiselPower99
02-23-2009, 09:35 AM
Getting him long term before the draft opens up more possibilities for us.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-23-2009, 10:50 AM
I'm still hoping we draft a LT in the 1st round and then the Steelers can either just leave Starks tagged for a year or let him walk in mid June. OR, better yet, trade Starks to a team for draft picks like the Chiefs did with Jared Allen.

William Beatty will be a much better LT than Starks and free up a lot of cash down the road.

OneForTheToe
02-23-2009, 11:19 AM
Kemoeatu, meanwhile, may want to see what offers he gets on the open market since he could be the most coveted guard in this year's free-agent class.

:toofunny: I like like Kemo because he can maul D'linemen in the running game and might have more up-side potential than any other Steelers' starter. But, if he is the best FA guard available, given the number of times a D'linemen has shot the gap between he and Hartwig, this has to be an all-time weak group.

Phoenixus
02-23-2009, 11:53 AM
Well I'm not entirely sure he's worth a franchise tag either. He's good, but I don't think he's worth that much.

That said, the Steelers are over a barrel on this one. Being multi-faceted like that and being that solid with no one to replace you, and you become too important to lose.

steelreserve
02-23-2009, 12:22 PM
4yrs at $26-28 million. Just a hunch. Am afraid he'll want more though.

Lord, I hope not.

Us giving him that kind of a contract, I mean. That would just lock in four more years of us getting a raw deal. If he wants that much money -- to say nothing of more than that -- he can piss off as far as I'm concerned.

truesteelerfan
02-23-2009, 02:33 PM
We could do worse than Starks...I'm sure lots of clubs would be thrilled to have someone his caliber to even make an offer to. With that being said...I too hope we get someone in the draft. I won't count on anything however, if last year's draft is any indication, at least a third of the teams drafting before us in round 1 also need OL help, so we may have to take the best available athlete. Hope Hills had a monster off season! I'd like to see what he can do and why we drafted him.

Pi Kapp Steeler
02-23-2009, 02:42 PM
We could do worse than Starks...I'm sure lots of clubs would be thrilled to have someone his caliber to even make an offer to. With that being said...I too hope we get someone in the draft. I won't count on anything however, if last year's draft is any indication, at least a third of the teams drafting before us in round 1 also need OL help, so we may have to take the best available athlete. Hope Hills had a monster off season! I'd like to see what he can do and why we drafted him.


Apparently Tony Hills was projected to be a first round draft choice, prior to injury. All we can do is wait and see if he can perform:popcorn:

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-23-2009, 02:57 PM
Apparently Tony Hills was projected to be a first round draft choice, prior to injury. All we can do is wait and see if he can perform:popcorn:

I'm not too sure about that, but maybe some guys had him that high. Hills looks fine but just needed a year to get stronger and work on things.

I think his 4 years a Texas is a good thing on a resume. He is my dark horse to start at RT this season.

JoeLion
02-23-2009, 04:14 PM
I'm not too sure about that, but maybe some guys had him that high. Hills looks fine but just needed a year to get stronger and work on things.

I think his 4 years a Texas is a good thing on a resume. He is my dark horse to start at RT this season.

That is one heck of a reach El Gonzo. I hope you are right. If they draft an OT early that would not be a good sign for Hill, but if they wait until later in the draft and go for an OG first, you may be right!

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-23-2009, 05:25 PM
That is one heck of a reach El Gonzo. I hope you are right. If they draft an OT early that would not be a good sign for Hill, but if they wait until later in the draft and go for an OG first, you may be right!

In the preseason Tony Hills showed strong run blocking and leg drive in run blocking(but he blocked with folded arms) and quick feet in pass protection,(but no solid punch). The way he didnt use his arms made me think he lacks strength or technique in using his arms, but has quick feet and is a solid run blocker.

For a RT you want a big guy that can run block and is an adequate pass protector. I think if Zeirline has worked on his punch and Garret Giemont has worked on Hills strength, that he will be a better RT than Colon. I hope it pans out this season.

LT- Starks
LG-Colon
C-Hartwig
RG- Simmons
RT- Hills

With reserves like Stapleton, Essex, William Beatty, Kraig Urbik, Doug Legursky would suit me just fine.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-23-2009, 08:03 PM
I hope One of those Guard spots is consumed by Alex Mack if we get him. Max Starks can stay with us and keep milking our money year after year. But he better produce :banging:

Mack should be there. Funny thing that Brian Billick was saying on NFL network is "its really hard to spend a 1st round pick on a center. Its hard to justify. Who was the last 1st round pick as a center........Mangold???"

Billick basically said in the war room you really dont target a center in the 1st round and considering there are 3 really good ones, a lot of teams with a need might just wait until the 2nd to take one of those 3. I still like the idea of taking a OT prospect if there is one there at #32, but otherwise I too like Mack or Eric Wood to play G and C.