The Pittsburgh Steelers have been lucky for two straight seasons that Max Starks had been waiting on the sidelines looking for work, leading to the team being able to resign him for the veteran league minimum in back to back years.
This off-season, the Steelers might not have that luxury of waiting until late in the summer to have Starks bail them out at the left tackle position.
After putting together a second straight solid season, there should be interest in the 30 year old Starks who is looking to remain a starting left tackle in this league whether it would be with the Steelers or elsewhere. “I am not a backup yet,” Starks said on Wednesday. “I still have a couple more years {left} in me before I can even consider that role {backup}. 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.”
Starks, according to a person close to him, believes he deserves more of a fair deal than he’s been playing on the past two years (1 year, vet minimum), if the Steelers have interest in resigning him this off-season. For Starks to return, he’s going to want assurances of being the starting left tackle in 2013, and see a bump in pay.
Should Starks be more of a priority than he’s likely going to be? The Steelers going into next season with Mike Adams as their starting left tackle and Marcus Gilbert on the right side will be risky.
While Adams showed great promise as a run blocker in 2012, he doesn’t have great upper body strength yet and at this point in his development he is a below average run blocker and didn’t see anytime at left tackle this season. Gilbert who will be entering his third year, regressed in 2012 which was concerning.
Ideal situation would be to try to keep Starks for one more season and let Marcus Gilbert and Adams battle for the starting right tackle job as Adams still has some developing to do before he’s a player the team should feel comfortable as their starting left tackle.