Ben Roethlisberger Gives Up Salary for Steelers to Resign Max Starks

Just when Steelers Nation seemed to be settling into a lull after an uncharacteristically active NFL free agency period, the Pittsburgh Steelers made another shocking move.

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have resigned former starting offensive tackle Max Starks to bolster the offensive line.

The move apparently came at the behest of Ben Roethlisberger, who was drafted with Starks in 2004. Roethlisberger didn’t stop at pleading the case of is former draft classmate – he put his money where his mouth is.

  • Ben Roethlisberger is giving up enough of his salary to allow the team to sign Starks for the veteran minimum.

The signal caller explained himself this way:

We saw what happened last year when we lacked depth on the offensive line. I said I’d do what it takes to keep us competitive, and now I’m living up to my word. Max was not happy with the way things worked out in San Diego and St. Louis, but he’s been a gym rat since then. He knows that Marcus, Kelvin and Mike are ahead of him in the pecking order, but he wants to give it his all in one final shot.

As Roethlisberger indicates, Starks is coming on board for depth behind Kelvin Beachum, Marcus Gilbert, and Mike Adams.

Although he was not available to the press, Mike Tomlin issued this statement, “We aspire to win a world championship. Max Starks was a starter on a two world championship teams. We embrace players like that who are willing and able to contribute in some form or fashion.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Max Starks – Breaking Up is Hard to Do 

It may have come more than 50 years overdue, but perhaps no one has done more to help life imitate art when it comes Neal Sedaka’s ditty “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Max Starks.

Starks ran afoul of Steelers coaches Bruce Arians and/or Larry Zierlin at some point in 2007. The two wanted nothing to do with him, but Kevin Colbert thought otherwise and the Steelers named Max Starks their transition player.

Starks started the year as the NFL’s most expensive back up tackle, but ended up saving the season that ended in glory of Super Bowl XLIII. In 2009 the Steelers franchised him, signed him to a long term deal in 2009, only to cut him in 2011, only to bring him back in later in 2011. The Steelers attempted to go without him in 2012, but were forced to bring him to Latrobe, where he won the starting job.

In 2013 Starks had a shot at returning, but didn’t want backup money and opted to go to San Diego. He got cut after the final preseason game. Many in Steelers Nation expected Starks back at the South Side.

  • It didn’t happen.

Then when Mike Adams struggled mightily in the early season, many expected Starks to return again. The Steelers instead opted to trade for Levi Brown, only to lose Levi before he ever played a down.

Still, there were no Starks signings or sightings, and the story between the two seemed to finally end. Until today.

Kevin Colbert Speaks on Starks

While Mike Tomlin did not speak to the press, Kevin Colbert did has is his custom during the off season.

Speaking with reporters, Colbert explained, “We knew we needed more depth, and when Ben came to us with this idea we a little hesitant, but when we saw that shape Starks was in the stars just sort of lined up.”

When asked if this was really happening, again, Colbert simply smiled and assured, “Max Starks is once again a Pittsburgh Steelers just as sure as today is April the 1st.”

Thanks for visiting. Click here for the rest of Steel Curtain Rising or here to see our Steelers 2014 Free Agent Focus.

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