It’s surprising to find an accomplished left tackle like Max Starks still be without a team at this stage, but it’s partially of his own design. The Pittsburgh Steelers, in the process of getting rid of anyone who isn’t young or cheap, won’t sign him back, which means that either the Arizona Cardinals or the San Diego Chargers will be the teams that get to enjoy his abilities in 2013.
Starks has been with the Steelers since 2004, winning two Super Bowls with the team, and the starting left tackle in Pittsburgh since 2008. While he did have some injury problems hold him back prior to 2012, he played the full 16 game schedule last season, and is looking in what might be the best shape of his career entering the fourth decade of his life.
Both the Chargers and the Cardinals need a lot of help in the offensive line, and their picks in the drafts, both using a first round pick on an offensive lineman, won’t be enough to make their quarterbacks – Carsom Palmer in Arizona and Philip Rivers in San Diego, safe and confident that they can perform at their absolute best without being prepared to take a vicious hit.
The Cardinals allowed more sacks than anyone else last season as they used three different quarterbacks due to injuries destroying their season. They used their number one pick (7th overall) on Jonathan Cooper, a guard out of North Carolina, and added another guard, Earl Watford out of James Madison, in the fourth round. It’s clear that they still need some help around the edges, and Starks, who has visited with the team, is their top choice.
Same goes for the Charges, who took D.J. Fluker out of Alabama as their number one pick in their revamping of the offensive line, but they’re hoping that they find someone better than King Dunlap to man the left tackle position. Max Starks seems to be that number option to be that guy, although there rumors suggesting a third and fourth team are involved in the courting process.