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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Starks signs tender

In what was a smart move for Max Starks, he signed the Steelers' transition tender offer of $6.9 million on Saturday, a week before the NFL draft.

Though I was told it was unlikely the Steelers would pull the transition tag off of Starks, the team's No. 3 tackle in 2007, Starks had to be thinking that if the team selected offensive linemen with its first two picks next week – as it did with linebackers in 2007 – yanking the offer may have been a possibility.

Starks' signing means that right tackle Willie Colon will likely shift to left guard to replace departed Alan Faneca. He also gives the team some insurance should left tackle Marvel Smith's surgically repaired back act up again in 2008.


adamg said...

Dale, do you still think the Steelers will try and work out a long term deal with Starks? I think a lot of people forget Starks is still only 25 years old. With a lot of college players staying 5 years, they are often 23 when they are drafted. Starks is only two years older and already has 4 years of experience.

My sense is the Steelers aren't completely sold on Chris Kemo and Marvel Smith is 30 now and Starks showed he can play there last year.

Do you think Mahan might be released now to make cap room for Starks' contract?

Dale Lolley said...

They aren't completely sold on Kemo, that I know.
I think they're going to wait and see how the draft works out before they get too intensive in their contract talks with anybody. And it's likely something that will go on through to training camp.
As for releasing Mahan, right now, he's still the starter. Hartwig will have to win the job and he won't be able to do that until they get to camp.

adamg said...

Dale, where does Essex fit in this mix? I know he was thrown in to the fire his rookie year and then didn't see the much the last several years.
He does seem to be making progress, though, from what I saw in the games last year. Are the Steelers just keeping him around for insurance this year or do they still believe he can be a productive NFL lineman?

Dale Lolley said...

They see him as a capable backup, not much more.