Steelers sign Max Starks to help offensive line

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The Steelers this morning signed veteran tackle Max Starks and waived tackle Chris Scott as they try to find solutions to help their injury-plagued offensive line.

Starks visited the Steelers at their training facility last night. The Post-Gazette reported he was close to signing a contract. He played seven seasons and started 75 games for them at both left tackle and right tackle. They released him before the start of training camp.

Starks had neck surgery last November and his weight reportedly balooned to more than 400 because he could not work out. However, he has lost much of that weight gain. He worked out for the Minnesota Vikings last week.

He was the Steelers third round draft pick in 2004 and by 2005 was their starting right tackle on the Steelers Super Bowl XL champs. By 2007, though, Willie Colon beat him out for the job under a new coaching staff. In 2008, the Steelers gave him a one-year, $6.85 million contract as their transition player.

He then started at left tackle in Super Bowl XLIII for an injured Marvel Smith. In 2009 they made him their franchise player and, before the season began, negotiated a four-year, $26.3 million contract. He started two seasons as their left tackle before he had neck surgery that ended his 2010 season last November.

They released him before this season began, privately citing his salary cap number. There were indications they might re-sign him, but despite the loss of Willie Colon for the season and then injuries and performances at left tackle that seemed intent to get Ben Roethlisberger maimed, the Steelers kept ignoring Starks.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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