Former Gator Starks Signs Massive Deal
Massive former Gator Offensive tackle Max Starks has signed a four-year contract that keeps him with the Pittsburgh Steelers through the 2012 season and frees up several million dollars in salary cap room for the team. Starks, the starting left tackle, was designated as the Steelers franchise player on February 20 - less than three weeks after they won the Super Bowl -and he initially accepted a 2009 salary of $8.45 million.
Instead, the new contract is expected to pay him a signing bonus of slightly more than that amount but reduce his annual salary, creating additional salary cap room for a team that was up against the cap most of last season. The signing bonus, for cap purposes, is spread out over the length of the contract. By agreeing to the four-year contract, Starks no longer carries the franchise player tag.
Starks, 27, gains long-term stability with the new deal and avoids having to negotiate with the Steelers on a yearly basis. The 6-foot-8, 345-pound Starks, the starting right tackle when the Steelers won the Super Bowl during the 2005 season, was a third-round pick out of Florida in 2004.
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