Pittsburgh Releases WR Antwaan Randle El and OT Max Starks

The numbers game caught up with two veteran Steelers Thursday, as the black and gold released offensive tackle Max Starks and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.

Some will right away think releasing Randle El means that the team does have interest in Plaxico Burress, but basically the writing was on the wall after how well both Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown played in their rookie seasons.

Randle El has started 23 games in two stints with the Steelers. After being drafted in the second round (62nd overall) by Pittsburgh in the 2002 NFL Draft, he spent four seasons with the Steelers (2002-05) before playing the next four in Washington (2006-09). The popular WR returned to the Steelers in 2010 and played in all 16 games, finishing with 22 catches for 253 yards (11.5 avg.). He also made a couple big plays in the Super Bowl, including a two-point conversion.

Starks was originally drafted by the Steelers in the third round (75th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He started 68 games in his seven seasons in Pittsburgh, including seven in 2010 before being placed on the Reserve/Injured List with a neck injury. Starks was a starter for the Steelers in Super Bowls XL and XLIII.

He was set to count more than $7 million on their salary cap, so releasing him doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Offensive tackles Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott, both free agents, are still in the teams plans. Colon finally received a multi-year contract offer from the team, which was negotiating with Scott as well.

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