The talking has finally paid off, as the Steelers today finally came to terms with their franchise player, OT Max Starks. The tackle signs a deal that will go though the 2012 season, and ESPN’s John Clayton reports that the deal will pay him $26.3 million.
The deal also includes a reported $10 mil in guaranteed money. Being the franchise player, Starks had accepted a deal to play him an 09 salary of $8.45 million. “We were very fortunate to have him,” Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said. “A transition on a backup probably didn’t make a lot of sense, but we didn’t feel like we would have been as good a team without him. We wanted to do a long-term deal (in 2008) but we couldn’t get it done.”
The 27-year-old has had an up and down career with the Steelers, as he was the starting right tackle during the 2005 season, and then ended up sitting the bench at the start of this past season, only to have injury force him back on the field for the final 11 games of the regular season and the teams three playoff games.
Now Starks will be along long-term, and the Steelers hope the stability will pay off with him playing as well as he did at the end of the last season as the team won their 6th Super Bowl.