Max Starks has resigned with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one year deal,Â the team announced.Â Starks for the second straight year, has signed for the veteran league minimum.
Starks (6-8, 345) spent all eight years of his career with the Steelers after the team drafted him in the third round (75th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He started 80 games in eight years with Pittsburgh, including 12 in 2011. Starks started eight postseason games during his eight years in Pittsburgh. He started at left tackle in the Steelersâ Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Arizona Cardinals and started at right tackle in the teamâs Super Bowl XL win against the Seattle Seahawks.
Starks who tore his ACL in the Steelers playoff game in Denver, is expected to be fully cleared for start of the season as the Steelers have been monitoring his progress for the past several months.
The addition of Starks is fully expected to lead to the release of veteran Jonathan Scott who will save the Steelers $2.2 million in cap space.
BREAKING DOWN THE STARKS SIGNING
If Starks is fully healthy for the start of the season, there is a strong likelihood that the Steelers enter week 1 with a starting five left to right of Max Starks – Willie Colon – Maurkice Pouncey – David DeCastro – Marcus Gilbert.
Starks gives the Steelers great insurance as 2nd round pick Mike Adams is unlikely to be able to lock down the starting left tackle job by the start of the season. Despite talk in mini-camp of the Steelers wanting Adams to win the starting job in camp, it’s going to be a longshot for him to do so, now so even more with Starks back in the fold.
Starks being back will also likely keep Marcus Gilbert from seeing significant time in camp at left tackle as he alternated both spots during OTA’s and mini-camp.Â TheÂ coaching staffÂ will now have theÂ ability to let Gilbert focus solely on right tackle as he continues to grow as a player there and not rush Mike Adams into action. It’s a good situation for Mike Adams as he can learn from Starks.
With Scott’s likely release, the Steelers view Trai Essex as the No. 3 tackle and swing man inside at guard and center.
The Steelers have a number of storylines entering camp on the O-line, including left tackle where Starks and Mike Adams will battle for the starting job, whether Willie Colon can make a smooth transition to left guard and whether Ramon Foster can hold off David DeCastro at right guard.