Max Starks Says His Knee Is On Pace To Be Ready By Mid July

It was a busy day on Tuesday for Steeler Nation as the Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 schedule was announced and the new 1934 throwback jerseys and uniforms were unveiled. One last bit of information to pass along today is that unrestricted free agent tackle Max Starks reported via Twitter on Tuesday that his surgically repaired right knee is doing very well. He claims that he is ahead on his rehab protocol and is getting his strength back in it. Starks added that he is on pace to be ready by mid July for play and fully intends to play somewhere in 2012.

Starks had the ACL repaired that he tore in the AFC Wild Card game against the Denver Broncos back in mid January and it certainly seems that he will be ready, or close to ready, by the time training camps get started. This latest update keeps him on course with the last update that he gave about three weeks ago on SiriusXM Radio. In that interview Starks said he has every intention of returning to the Steelers in 2012.

The 2012 NFL draft is now right around the corner and the Steelers are expected to draft both a tackle and a guard at some point. The depth behind starters Marcus Gilbert and Willie Colon is thin right now, with Jonathan Scott and Trai Essex being the only remaining players on the roster with game experience at the tackle spot. Scott carries a 2.2 million base salary and is no way considered a lock right now to make it to training camp, at least not at that number. Essex has lost even more weight it appears this offseason and likely a better fit inside as an interior depth swing guy headed into camp.

Will the Steelers have room for Starks late in July, assuming he is medically cleared? I would not rule it completely, but admit that it looks highly unlikely right now. Starks would be an upgrade over Scott though and likely would come at a much cheaper price in the form of a one-year qualified contract. Keep in mind that the Steelers still have $2 million in dead money on the books in 2012 because of the release of Starks last offseason. That money is dead regardless if Starks returns or not, but at least the Steelers could feel that they are getting a little bang for that dead money charge should Starks return as a one-year swing tackle.

As I mentioned above, I think it is unlikely to happen, but Starks is one of the good guys, and maybe this post at the very least will help keep his name in the news cycle, and in the back of the minds of other teams that might be looking to add an experienced tackle just before the draft.

Keep on working Max, several of us a hoping you get play somewhere in 2012.

  • Wdmason

    He is a good guy. Come back Max.

  • TsarPepe

    The “depth” cannot be “thin” (this is called oxymoron); it cannot be “shallow” either; it can be minimal.

  • Starks blows anyway. Aldon Smith absolutely abused him like a two-year-old in K-Mart.

  • Jollyrob68

    I’d take Starks over Scott everytime.

  • Eric87

    As would I, they need to boot J. Scott off the team as he couldnt block an 80 yr old lady. I weigh 250 ad could blcok better than that guy, just seems like he has not concept of dropback pass blocking, He is also a bit slow for a tackle. All that said, I think the should give him a try to be a backup guard, not a tackle. bad footwork and poblems with the first step off of the ball

  • Eric87

    didnt help that ben looked like he was in wheelchair the first 3 quarters of that game. When your mobile QB cant move, teams will be blitzing from all over. I don’t place all of the blame on Starks for that game. Ben should have never played in that 1. Cost us a chance at division

  • Sam

    I’ll take Starks at RT over Colon

  • Grw1960

    Scotts salary is a little highfor a back up and doesnot seem to fit the position versitile mold the Steelers like in their OL players.
    LT not so good, OG not,,,,,However he has done a decent job when filling in at RT.

  • NW86

    Agreed. I’m surprised that Scott is still on the roster considering his salary is $2.2M. I suppose they have been waiting to see how Starks progresses and who they get in the draft. I look for Scott to be cut after the draft to make salary cap room for signing draft picks and/or a long term deal for Mike Wallace. He probably wouldn’t get much attention from other teams anyway, then he could be re-signed for vet minimum if needed.

  • Kingmagyar

    I hope you play next year, just not for the Ravens.

  • Dkoy85

    Shut up

  • Cols714

    The depth at tackle will be pretty good if we get Starks back. That’ll give us two legit LT on the roster. I’m doubting they take an OT in the first 4 rounds.

  • Mwormack

    I like Max Starks, and I would bring him back, however if anyone things it’s a done deal he can start 16 games and play effectively coming off an acl tear, they aren’t being very realistic. The fact is we need one or two solid lineman in the draft for the offensive line. We also need to look into why our offensive linemen have been injured the last few years, is it conditioning too much too little, is there new technology available to help prevent some of these Acl tears that seem to effect our lineman, that kind of stuff.

  • PSUnGA

    twice on sunday