Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
Steelers’ Hampton, Starks not ready to hang it up
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Hines Ward stepped to the podium nine months ago and said he couldn‘t imagine putting on a jersey other than the Steelers‘, so the receiver retired after 14 years in the league.
As Casey Hampton put it Wednesday: “I am a little different than Hines.”
So is Max Starks.
Hampton‘s and Starks‘ contracts are up following Sunday‘s meaningless season finale against Cleveland at Heinz Field, and both wouldn‘t have any problem wearing a different uniform next year if the Steelers‘ organization decides the two aren‘t part of their plan moving forward following a possible first losing season in nearly a decade.
“I want to play, and I feel like if I want to play and somebody wants me to play for them, I am going to play,” Hampton said. “I can‘t say that I can‘t see myself playing with somebody else, but I definitely wouldn‘t want to go anywhere else. There is no question about that.”
Hampton may not have any say in it, even though he had one of his most productive seasons despite not getting healthy from offseason knee surgery until midway through the season.
The Steelers used back-to-back second-round draft picks the past two years on tackles Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams. However, it was Starks who has played in all 1,029 of the Steelers snaps this year despite not getting signed until two weeks before training camp.
Starks said he would not come back to be a backup to either Adams or Gilbert.
“I am not a backup yet,” Starks said. “I still have a couple more years in me before I can even consider that role. They drafted two young guys in the second round the last two years, so do I think I will be here? Probably not, but at the same time, I feel that I have value somewhere.”
Even though Starks signed a four-year, $26.9 million deal in 2009, the past two years he played for the veteran‘s minimum of just less than $1 million.
The Steelers asked Hampton to take a $2 million salary reduction in March to return to the team with no assurances of tacking on an extra year if he agreed.
With the Steelers projected to be around $12 million over the salary cap at year‘s end, they could have a hard time justifying handing out big money to veterans such as Hampton and Starks.
“I am definitely going to continue to play,” Hampton said. “If it is here or wherever, I definitely want to be here, but it is a business and I understand that.”
Hampton is in the midst of one of his better years.
He had one of his better games last week against Cincinnati when he collected three solo tackles — his most since a Week 17 game against Cleveland last season.
“Given the opportunity, I feel like I still play at a high level,” Hampton said. “Give me a full season to work out and get in shape and be ready to play, I think I can play at a high level. I see myself able to play a couple more years.”
Given the opportunity, I feel like I still play at a high level,” Hampton said. “Give me a full season to work out and get in shape and be ready to play, I think I can play at a high level. I see myself able to play a couple more years.”
yea fatass, you were never allowed to get in shape or workout the previous 8 years. cant wait to see him gone also.
Hampton needs to retire.
We need to sign Starks to at least a one year deal...and plan for him to start. Adams isn't close to being ready.
Steelers NT Casey Hampton Open To Playing Elsewhere Next Season
Steelers NT Casey Hampton has been a staple of Pittsburgh’s defense for the past 12 seasons, but the 35-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and there has been plenty of attention paid to the overall age of the team’s defense unit.
Hampton appears to be more than aware of the situation that he’ll be faced with in March, but believes he was two more years left in him.
“No question, I can see myself playing somewhere else,” said Hampton, per the Beaver County Times. ”But I definitely would not want to go anywhere else. Why would I want to do that?“
Hampton grades out as one of the worst nose tackles in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. The good news is that he’s still a serviceable run defender, but he offers nothing in regarding to interior pass rush at this point in his career.
The Steelers must get younger on defense, so it makes sense that they would move on without Hampton next season. Pittsburgh should try to get Steve McLendon and Alameda Ta’amu to take the next step in their development, instead of hoping that Hampton is capable of returning to his previous form.
Bye Casey. You've been one of the great ones.
Hampton needs replacing. Not convinced we have his replacement on the roster yet.
Starks is still the best LT on the roster, and hopefully can be retained. Let Adams & Gilbert duke it out for RT and back-up OT roles next season and let them develop that little bit more. They are the future, just not sure that the future is now, yet.
Schiavone's Race Career:
The bottom line is that nobody on the o-line played with as much consistency as did Starks. He deserves to be brought back and he deserves to start. There isn't a T on this team that has proven to be even adequate as a Starks replacement.
I can't say the same for Hampton.
Starks is still relatively young and if he'll keep staying for next to nothing, might as well keep him.
Originally Posted by Chadman
Hampton is on a decline, but he's still better than any other option at this point. The good thing about the big guys is they don't have to move that far on plays. I think you can get by with the big guys a little longer than at some of the skill positions. Granted, the trenches have to have taken a toll on these guys' bodies. But if they can still take the beating, no reason they still can't contribute.
I sign Starks for sure, unless you want Ben laid out. Last season Starks saved the Steelers remember? We were in bad shape with all the injuries and he came in played well and still is playing at a high level.
LT is probably the most important position on the O-line, I wouldn't chance releasing Starks and giving Gilbert the job. The Steelers have some big decisions to make this off season on who we keep and let go, its part of the business.
Two times Kaboley mentions Hampton being in the middle of one of his better or prodcutive seasons. What is he talking about? He has 11 tackles and 14 assists and 0 sacks. He has 7 seasons with more tackles than that and 7 with more sacks. How is this some sort of stellar year for him?