Steelers sign Guy Whimper, pass protection optional

Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

Evidently Max Starks will have to wait, as the Steelers sign another free-agent offensive linemen to back up their starting youth.

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed veteran offensive tackle Guy Whimper to a contract Monday, a move theoretically made to establish depth along a thin tackle depth chart in Pittsburgh.

Whimper is a curious choice, though. Regarded by many as a below standard pass protector, Football Outsiders writer J.J. Cooper noted on Twitter Whimper allowed a sack in nine consecutive games in 2011, and the Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the worst pass protecting teams in the league just last year.

Whimper was a fourth round pick of the Giants in 2006, and has been less than impressive in his tenure in the league. What exactly the Steelers feel makes this a smart signing is unknown - Max Starks has played his entire career in Pittsburgh, and perhaps could be signed as a back-up, but maybe the issue is Starks doesn't want to return.

Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert look to start at each tackle position this season, although it's unclear which one will be where. Kelvin Beachum filled in at right tackle last season after both Adams and Gilbert were injured, but he will be moving inside to help establish depth behind David DeCastro and Ramon Foster.

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