Inside The Bills

Steelers’ Starks deal won’t help Bills’ Walker

Posted by Chris Brown on June 23, 2009 – 6:59 pm

Steelers OT Max Starks just signed a 4-year $26.3M deal according to ESPN’s John Clayton. For those that don’t remember he was franchised earlier this offseason at $8.45M, but agreed to the long term contract instead. This is a good thing as far as the Bills are concerned for this reason.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but in the event that new left tackle Langston Walker wants his contract re-examined after 2009, now that he’s playing the all important left side as opposed to the right, Starks one might think would be the perfect model of comparison.

Much like Walker did in 2008, Starks had to move from right tackle to left tackle to fill in for then starter Marvel Smith (injured). 

Starks played all the playoff games for the Steelers last year at left tackle en route to the Super Bowl. This year Starks is expected to be Pittsburgh’s full time left tackle, which is also the case with the Bills’ Walker for 2009.

Should Walker have a successful season on the left side this year, there’s a chance his representatives might want to see his contract adjusted in light of the position he’s now playing as opposed to the position he was playing when he signed his free agent contract in 2007. It’s not like he’d be the first player to take such an approach.

But the Starks deal (4-years $26.3M with $10M guaranteed) is not a whole lot better than the deal Walker signed three years ago (5-$25M-$5M bonus). So justifying a sizable increase, if it comes to that just became a bit harder for the Walker camp if they choose to do so down the line.   

Of course they’d probably maintain that Walker is a better player than Starks and they may be right, but the parallels in terms of circumstances between the two players is pretty tough to overlook.


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