My pleas have finally been answered… sort of. The San Diego Chargers have now officially contacted free agent left tackle Max Starks about their current dilemma at the position he is quite familiar with. These talks are clearly just in the infantile stages at this point, but there are plenty of reasons why this marriage would make sense.
It may be a few years removed, but former Arizona Cardinals head coach and now Bolts offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was the OC with the Pittsburgh Steelers during some of Starks’ tenure with the team. Their experience together could sway General Manager Tom Telesco toward bringing in the veteran tackle if Whisenhunt puts in a good word.
YOUTH & EXPERIENCE
It seems like an oxymoron, I know, but Starks has been to and won Super Bowls in Pittsburgh. The same can be said about the other veteran tackle that had the Chargers’ eye earlier this offseason, Bryant McKinnie, but he is 34 years old. Starks, on the other hand, is just 31 years of age and would warrant a two or three year commitment by the organization if that’s what he is seeking. It didn’t make sense to give McKinnie that kind of long-term deal, but it wouldn’t be a mistake with Starks.
THE DEPTH CHART
Obviously there is a reason the Chargers are still searching for a starting blindside protector this late in the game. There currently assembly of mid-level talent at left tackle consists of King Dunlap, Mike Harris, and Kevin Haslam. None of those three are going to instill much confidence in an already assurance deprived Philip Rivers under center. Starks would provide a veteran presence with a proven track record to help restore the Rivers of old in 2013.
STEELERS HAVE MOVED ON
Perhaps the biggest obstacle that seemed to be preventing this from happening has now been lifted. The Steelers signed Guy Whimper as a reserve tackle in a move that seemed rather innocuous on the surface, but what it really means is that Starks’ time in the Steel City is officially over. Pittsburgh has Mike Adams groomed to take over on the left side, and the addition of Whimper signals veteran depth that Starks will no longer be needed to provide. Narrowing his options down may accelerate the signing process of bringing Starks to San Diego.
It may not be what the team had envisioned when the NFL offseason began, but having a veteran to man the left side of the line is never a bad thing. I know this was the case with the McKinnie pursuit as well, but this deal just makes too much sense not to happen. Hopefully the Bolts can get the ink to dry on the contract this time around.