According to Michael Gehlken of utsandiego.com, “The San Diego Chargers are still searching for a left tackle. Their focus, now, has turned to Max Starks. The team is hosting the 10th-year veteran on a visit Wednesday, a league source said. Starks is the latest free agent target for the team. It hopes he’ll be the last.”
The left tackle spot has been a cause for concern since an injury to Marcus McNeill which led to former Kansas City Chiefs LT Jared Gaither re-signing to solidify the position. McNeill’s injury eventually led to him being released and retiring while Gaither missed 12 games last season and was released in March.
San Diego’s front office should sign the former Pittsburgh Steelers LT who has more experience than King Dunlap and Kevin Haslam combined. Starks started 62 games at LT from 2008-2012 while Dunlap and Haslam combine for 23 starts in their careers. Dunlap has also bounced around from right tackle to left guard to LT, so it remains to be seen if he can be the man at LT.
Tom Telesco went after Bryant McKinnie in free agency, but was unable to sign him to a deal. Starks is 31 years old, so unlike McKinnie, he could play multiple years at LT which would allow San Diego to go after an LT in next year’s draft and groom him instead of throwing him into the fire.
The Chargers don’t appear to have the pieces to be explosive in their passing attack, but if Philip Rivers is not under pressure, he could make average players look great.
San Diego’s offensive line has to do a better job of protecting Rivers in 2013 if the team has any shot of making it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009, so the front office should sign Starks.