After the fourth pick in the draft, it became brutally clear that the Chargers were not going to get a starting left tackle. Yesterday, it became even more evident that we may not even get a “stop gap” left tackle.
Bryant “trip around the country” McKinnie had two teams fondle his private parts, before he secured his spot as a Raven, for the time being. He is a 33 & 3/4 year old tackle, and may have been our best shot at finding an experienced blindside protector for Philip Rivers.
How much this contract was worth, and how much we offered him, will probably be the topic of future discussion. In all honesty, we can’t blame the Ravens, or McKinnie for what happened. After all, “business is business”. He tested the market.. showed that he was worth more than the Ravens thought.. and the Ravens decided that their left tackle (who was spectacular at keeping Superbowl MVP Joe Flacco’s jersey clean) was worth the paycheck. As much as it hurts to say… I would have done the same thing. Sort of.
If you really want to vent… vent on AJ Smith. He left us with a Big Lazy overpaid Left Tackle, who only started 4 games last year, and an undrafted free agent rookie as his plan B. As sick as this may sound… and I will probably get blasted for saying this… I sort of wish we AT LEAST had the opportunity to see if Gaither could have produced this year. At the same time, I don’t fault TT for getting rid of such a cancer. Having said that… here is a little tid-bit I picked up on the web, that makes even the most optimistic of fans shudder:
The weakest part of the Eagles offensive line has to be King Dunlap.
It looks like defenses have figured out that they can blitz Dunlap’s side every down and get easy pressure on Vick. He has just not performed as well as he needs to. He is letting Vick take some serious hits, and it is a problem.
I picked that up from a Philly post, dated last year. If that doesn’t scare you to death, then I don’t know what will. I know Harris was completely overwhelmed last year, but still… if we don’t get another left tackle, then it doesn’t sound like our beloved quarterback has any less to worry about this season.
Enter Max Starks.
There have been rumors that Pittsburgh Steelers starting left tackle Max Starks could be an option. But, quite honestly, we haven’t seen anything pointing in that direction. Here are some posts I dug up on the web. Based on the lack of any recent news surrounding the Chargers, and Starks… it’s hard to tell fact from fiction.
The Union-Tribune San Diego thinks it “would make sense” for the Chargers to be interested in free agent LT Max Starks. Starks, 31, started all 16 games on Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side for the first time in three years in 2012. He also knows new OC Ken Whisenhunt from their time together in Pittsburgh. Starks and Bryant McKinnie are the two best free-agent left tackles on the market not named Jared Gaither. Apr 11 – 2:37 PM
So, MAYBE The Whiz can coax Starks over here. Here is another post, from February.
The Steelers are not expected to re-sign impending free agent LT Max Starks. Starks, 31, was the only Steelers’ lineman to play every 2012 snap, and he was arguably the team’s best blocker up front. However, OC Todd Haley and new OL coach Jack Bicknell Jr. want linemen who can move and run, not immovable maulers. Starks is a massive 6-foot-8 and 345 pounds, so he certainly doesn’t fit that description. Marcus Gilbert is expected to shift to left tackle. Feb 10 – 10:25 AM
I did a little research, and according to this post on “Steelers Depot”, they don’t seem to think that anyone is interested in Starks, and also mention that the Steelers might not have the salary cap to stop someone from offering him a contract! The Chargers technically COULD make some cuts, and swipe him away from them, if they are truly looking for a 1 year stop gap. I dislike directing anyone from this totally bitchen site… but, read this link, and tell me what you think!
What jumped out at me most, for this being a May 2nd, 2013 article… was the line where it says that he will probably only be offered “another one year qualifying contract, like last year”, and that “if Starks is wanting a guarantee that he will start in 2013, he’s not going to get it from the Steelers, or any other team, at this point”… and that the Steelers “have to wait a month for more cap space to sign Starks, and they may be holding that for him”. But, that is exactly when we get that Gaither money! That’s if we can’t free up the money by making cuts BEFORE then (Cough Cough Royal, McClain, Clary).
One thing is for sure. The Steelers haven’t had Mike Harris start as their left tackle, or this guy would never have blasphemed this badly!
There is still hope, Bolt Fam!
Keep Bolting for Excellence!