San Diego’s offensive line allowed 49 sacks last season, which ranked fourth in the NFL, so protecting the blind side for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was a priority heading into the offseason. Unfortunately for San Diego, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles selected Luke Joeckel and Lane Johnson in the draft, so the front office had to explore other options at LT.
The 31-year-old Starks brings versatility to San Diego as he was Pittsburgh’s primary starter at right tackle in 2005 and 2006, while being the primary LT from 2008-2012. The signing of Starks is an upgrade at LT for San Diego and should allow the front office to breathe easy until free agency next year or the 2014 NFL Draft.
Before Starks signed, San Diego’s left tackles combined to play in 67 games and made 29 starts, while Starks played in 123 games and made 96 starts in his career. Due to lack of talent and a lack of experience, San Diego had one of the worst left tackle situations in the NFL prior to signing Starks.
San Diego’s front office made the right decision by signing Starks to a one-year deal because Marcus McNeill and Jared Gaither signed big contracts to play LT, got injured and were released in 2012 and 2013.
Rivers ranked ninth in the NFL with 26 touchdown passes and 11th in QB rating with a terrible offensive line in 2012. The offensive line should be improved with the additions of Starks and 2013 first-round pick D.J. Fluker, who will play RT. I expect these additions to be two of the reasons why Rivers has more success in 2013.