It’s looking more and more like the Steelers and tackle Max Starks are not going to come to terms on a new deal anytime soon. There was a blurb in the Tribune Review on it last week, and today there is a report on it in the Beaver County Times. Here’s their version:
The Steelers want Max Starks to sign a long-term deal. But the mammoth left tackle doesn’t appear to be in any hurry. The Steelers can get much-needed room under a tight salary cap if Starks forgoes his “franchise” player contract and agrees to a long-term deal. On one hand, Starks wouldn’t mind securing a multi-year deal. Then again, if the numbers aren’t right, he’s in no hurry to give up the $8.45 million he’ll make this year.
“Franchise” players earn the average of the top five salaries at their position. “I haven’t heard anything from my agent, so I don’t know what they’re doing,” Starks said when asked about the negotiations. “I’m sure they’ll let me know once something is happening.” Starks is one of several starters in the last year of his existing contract. Traditionally, the Rooney family doesn’t engage in contract talks once a season starts, so if Starks is to get a new deal, it must happen between now and Sept. 10
The Steelers are up against it in terms of the salary cap, so they would have to be very creative when it comes to how to get Starks to sign a long-term deal without there being issues with having to possibly release players. He was a big part of the late season success on the O-line in 08, and getting him a new deal would be a big positive as the season gets closer.