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Tackle Starks Tagged as the Steelers Franchise Player

The Steelers today made sure that they would for all intensive purposes not lose tackle Max Starks, as they placed the franchise tag on him. The tackle had the transition tag on him last season, and had an interesting year in which he started the year on the bench, only to end it on the field in Tampa with a Super Bowl title.

“We were happy we had Max Starks available to us when he was needed,” Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said. “We were fortunate that he was still here because he gave us an experienced guy who had played as a starter in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl.”

Starks was the starting right tackle for the teams Super Bowl win in 2005, and was the starting left tackle for the latter half of the season after Marvel Smith was hurt. He made $6.9 mil last season as the transition players, and will make $15.35 million over the 2008 and 2009 seasons, unless he agrees to a long-term deal. The team can work with him towards a deal till July 15th.

If another team decided they want to sign Starks and the Steelers don’t match the offer, they would get a pair of first-round draft picks, making it unlikely that any team would give up that much for him.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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