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Mister Pittsburgh
02-11-2009, 10:29 AM
I think the Steelers need to franchise Max Starks. This would ensure a few things:

-The Steelers have a viable LT on the team for at least one more year.

-Starks would need to stay in shape to land that big money contract.

-The Steelers would have another season/offseason/draft to find/develop a LT.

I just feel that if Starks gets that big money contract there is a very real possibility he eats himself out of shape. I think he let himself go the season after we won the Superbowl the last time and that is why he lost his job. If we franchise him he has to stay in shape this offseason so he plays well for his future employer and is ready to go.

Any thoughts?

SidSmythe
02-11-2009, 10:33 AM
You know, at 6'8, it's harder to get big n fat than a 6'1 Casey Hampton.

I'm not worried about Starks being out of shape and think Ben would be on his butt (except the saturday night drinking binges)

Mister Pittsburgh
02-11-2009, 10:35 AM
You know, at 6'8, it's harder to get big n fat than a 6'1 Casey Hampton.

I'm not worried about Starks being out of shape and think Ben would be on his butt (except the saturday night drinking binges)

I think that is the very reason he lost his RT position. He ate himself out of that job.

Oviedo
02-11-2009, 11:08 AM
I think the Steelers need to franchise Max Starks. This would ensure a few things:

-The Steelers have a viable LT on the team for at least one more year.

-Starks would need to stay in shape to land that big money contract.

-The Steelers would have another season/offseason/draft to find/develop a LT.

I just feel that if Starks gets that big money contract there is a very real possibility he eats himself out of shape. I think he let himself go the season after we won the Superbowl the last time and that is why he lost his job. If we franchise him he has to stay in shape this offseason so he plays well for his future employer and is ready to go.

Any thoughts?

It may be the best course of action given the alternatives. Hopefully we can get him signed for 3-4 years.

MeetJoeGreene
02-11-2009, 12:31 PM
I had always thought that we would franchise Marvell this year if we didn't work out a deal - to get one more year.

Given his back and that that is out of the question, they may franchise Starks.

Discipline of Steel
02-11-2009, 12:31 PM
I think you make a good point, I dont trust him to an LTR either. :) Its possible hes had some growing to do (mentally, not physically) and hed be motivated to emerge as an excellant LT this year.

ikestops85
02-11-2009, 01:36 PM
No, never. He got his windfall this year when he was vastly overpaid. He is average at best so why pay him top 5? Try and sign him for reasonable money and if he turns it down let him walk. :2c

Mister Pittsburgh
02-11-2009, 01:38 PM
No, never. He got his windfall this year when he was vastly overpaid. He is average at best so why pay him top 5? Try and sign him for reasonable money and if he turns it down let him walk. :2c

Easier said than done. Who do you start at LT then?

aggiebones
02-11-2009, 01:44 PM
Resign MSmith and transition Starks. Someone will offer him a contract as a transition. He will leave but we'll get a top pick because of it. And if the contract he signs is reasonable, we match and stick him on the right side for a season or 2 before we cut Marvel.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-11-2009, 01:46 PM
I am not going to let my hopes for repeating rest on Marvel Smiths damaged back. And as I stated in my OP there are reasons for not giving Max a long term deal. I think the franchise tag with impending free agency next season is a nice carrot to dangle in front of him to make sure he is in top shape once again next year.

ikestops85
02-11-2009, 01:55 PM
No, never. He got his windfall this year when he was vastly overpaid. He is average at best so why pay him top 5? Try and sign him for reasonable money and if he turns it down let him walk. :2c

Easier said than done. Who do you start at LT then?

Well, if they don't feel Hills can step up then they will have to sign someone. No way will they pay the $$ to sign Gross but they could go after Barnes, or Carey, or even Gross' backup, Omiyale (sp).

papillon
02-11-2009, 01:56 PM
One thing is for sure, while I don't believe that the offensive line as it is currently constituted gives the Steelers their best shot at repeating, a complete overhaul also leaves in a bad way.

This group has now played together for almost an entire season.

Ben believes in this group

The tackles aren't horrible and are actually middle of the road and with Ben as QB that's probably good enough.

This was Kemo's and Stapleton's first year as "the man" for the Steelers line

Mahan was so bad, that the 32nd ranked center looked like a serviceable upgrade to the untrained eye.

The more I think about the o-line the more I like keeping Starks (always wanted that one), keeping Kemo (wasn't in favor of that one) and signing Essex would be a good move for depth.

Bring in a guard, center and tackle to compete for spots and see what shakes out.

Pappy

Northern_Blitz
02-11-2009, 02:02 PM
Resign MSmith and transition Starks. Someone will offer him a contract as a transition. He will leave but we'll get a top pick because of it. And if the contract he signs is reasonable, we match and stick him on the right side for a season or 2 before we cut Marvel.

I think that the transition tag only gives you the right to match a contract. You get no compensation if you let the player go.

Mel Blount's G
02-11-2009, 02:39 PM
I am not going to let my hopes for repeating rest on Marvel Smiths damaged back.
I'll go a step further and say I've totaly lost hope in Marvel. Even if he was ready at the beginning of the season, I doubt he'd finish the season. He's done nothing to show otherwise in the last few years. It's unfortunate because I felt Marvel ha dthe most upside and talent out of all our OL's. But chronic back problems don't usually go away and end the careers of guys in the trades (plumbers, framers, welders, etc..) let alone professional football players. We're gonna have to cut him loose and overpay Max hoping that he doesn't wait half a season to motivate and start putting out. Of course draft/groom another as well...

TallyStiller
02-11-2009, 06:33 PM
Starks was a serviceable left tackle - and better at that position than on the right. He will likely improve given time at the position, as he's played less than a full season's worth of games there as a pro.

Franchising Max would cost us $8.4 mil. Would give us a very solid player at the spot and time to find the next option... try to sign him long term for less than the franchise price, and if he won't sign, trade up in R1 to get a Beatty or a Britton, keep him with the tag, and let the kid try to beat him out. When you're comfortable with the kid, let him go, or if he beats out the kid, sign him for his asking price, move the kid over to RT, and move Colon inside or let him go when he's a UFA next year.

100$handshake
02-11-2009, 07:57 PM
I think Zeirlein has screwed over Starks the last couple years. They put his job up for grabs in TC '07 and Colon clearly failed to win the job, yet Willie was given the job anyway. Then this year after colbert obviously placed a high priority on Starks with the Transition Tag, Zeirlein wouldn't give Max the RT job. Instead he was the top bench T and Colon still started. Now Tomlin has alot to do with this as well obviously. But it seems like ever since Zeirlein took over in '07 he has a bug up his butt for Starks. Yet Max was obviously our best O-lineman in '08. Franchising Max would be the only way to keep him here IMO unless we fire Zeirlein.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-11-2009, 08:34 PM
There are two types of franchise tag designations: the exclusive rights franchise tag, and non-exclusive rights franchise tag:

An "exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of a date in April of the current year in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. Exclusive franchise players cannot negotiate with other teams.
A "non-exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position in the previous year, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. A non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if he signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
It is the team's choice whether it uses an exclusive or a non-exclusive franchise tag. While it may seem that a team would always choose the exclusive option, there are two reasons a team might prefer the non-exclusive option instead. The first is that the salary is based on the top 5 salaries of the previous year instead of the current year, which could be a significant difference. The second reason is that a team may want the opportunity for the two first-round draft picks they would receive if they lost their player.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchise_tag

So if the Steelers franchised Starks, does he have any say at all of whether he would accept it or not or if they do it would he have to play for them next season?

RuthlessBurgher
02-11-2009, 10:29 PM
There are two types of franchise tag designations: the exclusive rights franchise tag, and non-exclusive rights franchise tag:

An "exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of a date in April of the current year in which the tag will apply, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. Exclusive franchise players cannot negotiate with other teams.
A "non-exclusive" franchise player must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position in the previous year, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. A non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if he signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.
It is the team's choice whether it uses an exclusive or a non-exclusive franchise tag. While it may seem that a team would always choose the exclusive option, there are two reasons a team might prefer the non-exclusive option instead. The first is that the salary is based on the top 5 salaries of the previous year instead of the current year, which could be a significant difference. The second reason is that a team may want the opportunity for the two first-round draft picks they would receive if they lost their player.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchise_tag

So if the Steelers franchised Starks, does he have any say at all of whether he would accept it or not or if they do it would he have to play for them next season?

Players that were given the franchise tag have held out of training camp in protest before (Walter Jones comes to mind immediately, because he did this a few times before they gave him a long term deal).

Regarding the exclusive vs. non-exclusive franchise tag, there were many players franchised last year, but only one was given the exclusive tag...Nnamdi Asomugha.

Flasteel
02-11-2009, 10:31 PM
I think Zeirlein has screwed over Starks the last couple years. They put his job up for grabs in TC '07 and Colon clearly failed to win the job, yet Willie was given the job anyway. Then this year after colbert obviously placed a high priority on Starks with the Transition Tag, Zeirlein wouldn't give Max the RT job. Instead he was the top bench T and Colon still started. Now Tomlin has alot to do with this as well obviously. But it seems like ever since Zeirlein took over in '07 he has a bug up his butt for Starks. Yet Max was obviously our best O-lineman in '08. Franchising Max would be the only way to keep him here IMO unless we fire Zeirlein.

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I've been harping on this since the '07 training camp when it was absolutely mystifying how Colon won the RT job. In the end I think it has actually benefitted Starks because he wound up on the left side where he's more natural (and paid better) and I'm sure the process has made him mentally tougher. Don't get me wrong, I was disappointed in his 2006 campaign and was not happy with his apparent lack of effort when he couldn't even get a sniff this past camp at RT. In my opinion, '06 was totaly his fault after going on some kind of Twinkie binge but I'm beginning to wonder just how much of a chance he was actually given this year.

Franchising him makes some sense if you still have lingering issues as to his ability to be our future at LT. Personally, I believe he is the answer there and would like to see him locked up with a long-term deal.