It has been reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers are attempting to “package” trade (possibly with the Chicago Bears) with Trai Essex, Max Starks and/or Sean Mahan.
It’s been rumored that Mahan has been secretly demanding a trade after losing the starting center position to newcomer Justin Hartwig (signed from the Miami Dolphins). Sean Mahan has been a disappointment to the Steelers after failing to prove that he can play the center position for the Steelers especially considering his steep salary cap hit of $4.6 million. Consistency, Mahan has proved that he does not have the size or strength to anchor the offensive line against the largest defensive tackles and nose tackles that are present in the AFC North.
Trai Essex has had a decent 2008 preseason in showing the coaching staff that he is a legitimate backup at both the tackle and guard positions. Still, he appears to be nothing more than a career back at the tackle but has stepped in an been successful in limited playing time.
Possibly the biggest disappointment of anyone on the Steelers roster. Starks is being paid among the top of all offensive tackles with a 1 year, 6.9 million dollar contract but is in a backup role. Starks, if it wasn’t for the money, should be cut. Watching Starks throughout the 4 preseason games was painful. He has not improved at all. In fact, he looks slower and heavier than ever and displays extremely poor technique for being a high-paid veteran. Rumor has it, that in training camp, Starks was simply going through the “motions” without any intention of becoming a better player. Most Steelers fans would be happy with a trade involving Starks especially if it results in a better o-line prospect, or depth along the defensive line. The only problem is which team (if any) would pay Starks 6.9 million this year?