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Hawaii 5-0 12-27-2012 10:00 AM

Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up

By Mark Kaboly
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hines Ward stepped to the podium nine months ago and said he couldn‘t imagine putting on a jersey other than the Steelers‘, so the receiver retired after 14 years in the league.

As Casey Hampton put it Wednesday: “I am a little different than Hines.”

So is Max Starks.

Hampton‘s and Starks‘ contracts are up following Sunday‘s meaningless season finale against Cleveland at Heinz Field, and both wouldn‘t have any problem wearing a different uniform next year if the Steelers‘ organization decides the two aren‘t part of their plan moving forward following a possible first losing season in nearly a decade.

“I want to play, and I feel like if I want to play and somebody wants me to play for them, I am going to play,” Hampton said. “I can‘t say that I can‘t see myself playing with somebody else, but I definitely wouldn‘t want to go anywhere else. There is no question about that.”

Hampton may not have any say in it, even though he had one of his most productive seasons despite not getting healthy from offseason knee surgery until midway through the season.

Starks either.

The Steelers used back-to-back second-round draft picks the past two years on tackles Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams. However, it was Starks who has played in all 1,029 of the Steelers snaps this year despite not getting signed until two weeks before training camp.

Starks said he would not come back to be a backup to either Adams or Gilbert.

“I am not a backup yet,” Starks said. “I still have a couple more years in me before I can even consider that role. They drafted two young guys in the second round the last two years, so do I think I will be here? Probably not, but at the same time, I feel that I have value somewhere.”

Even though Starks signed a four-year, $26.9 million deal in 2009, the past two years he played for the veteran‘s minimum of just less than $1 million.

The Steelers asked Hampton to take a $2 million salary reduction in March to return to the team with no assurances of tacking on an extra year if he agreed.

With the Steelers projected to be around $12 million over the salary cap at year‘s end, they could have a hard time justifying handing out big money to veterans such as Hampton and Starks.

“I am definitely going to continue to play,” Hampton said. “If it is here or wherever, I definitely want to be here, but it is a business and I understand that.”

Hampton is in the midst of one of his better years.

He had one of his better games last week against Cincinnati when he collected three solo tackles — his most since a Week 17 game against Cleveland last season.

“Given the opportunity, I feel like I still play at a high level,” Hampton said. “Give me a full season to work out and get in shape and be ready to play, I think I can play at a high level. I see myself able to play a couple more years.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz2GGTfmIea

steeltheone 12-27-2012 10:15 AM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
“Given the opportunity, I feel like I still play at a high level,” Hampton said. “Give me a full season to work out and get in shape and be ready to play, I think I can play at a high level. I see myself able to play a couple more years.”

Casey, you have been given the opportunity and have not performed at a " high level "

harrison'samonster 12-27-2012 11:39 AM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
I disagree, I think Hampton's been looking pretty good this year.

Max Starks is one of my heroes.

WVABE 12-27-2012 11:53 AM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
Personally I think they'd be nuts to can Starks. We wouldn't miss Hampton.

SteelersCanada 12-27-2012 01:10 PM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
Bye, Casey. You came on late in the year and I gave you the benefit of the doubt early on, but if you honestly think you can preform at a 'high level' somewhere else when you didn't do so on the number one defense (statistically), then you don't deserve to play here.

I'd bring back Starks and let him and Gilbert battle it out for the LT spot in Latrobe.

defence 12-27-2012 01:17 PM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SteelersCanada (Post 1070623)
Bye, Casey. You came on late in the year and I gave you the benefit of the doubt early on, but if you honestly think you can preform at a 'high level' somewhere else when you didn't do so on the number one defense (statistically), then you don't deserve to play here.

I'd bring back Starks and let him and Gilbert battle it out for the LT spot in Latrobe.

If we can get both back at the min; then we should. Casey really came on at the end of the season blowing up plays in the backfield. He can only help if healthy. But at the minimum salary!!

TRH 12-27-2012 01:41 PM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
i appreciate Hampton's 'run-plugging' ability but we have GOT to cut the age on this defense. We need more strength, speed, and youth on that DL. We're not getting to QB's and we're not manhandling offensive lines. THEY are manhandling our defensive lines.
Bye Casey.

stiller39 12-27-2012 01:46 PM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
Starks is a consumate pro and we should bring him back and let him compete for the starting job with the youngsters. He has been a class act his entire career with the stillers.
Hampton does not play like he once did.... He played his best game last week.... but was mostly absent the rest of the year....imo. Its a good time to bulk up Mcclendon and see what he can bring.

SteelersCanada 12-27-2012 01:48 PM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TRH (Post 1070641)
i appreciate Hampton's 'run-plugging' ability but we have GOT to cut the age on this defense. We need more strength, speed, and youth on that DL. We're not getting to QB's and we're not manhandling offensive lines. THEY are manhandling our defensive lines.
Bye Casey.

Pretty much. That starts, and ends, with Casey Hampton not requiring double-teams and being manhandled by centers one-on-one, which is unacceptable. He doesn't have the strength or speed that forces two guys on him, something that McLendon has done on almost every snap he's played.

desertsteel 12-27-2012 01:50 PM

Re: Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WVABE (Post 1070594)
Personally I think they'd be nuts to can Starks. We wouldn't miss Hampton.

Agreed


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