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Steelers met with Starks before Whimper signing, Chargers now in the mix

The Steelers aren't interested in Max Starks any more, but the Chargers might be.

Gregory Shamus

Tribune-Review reporter Mark Kaboly put to words what seemed the most likely outcome of Max Starks' free agency. The Steelers aren't interested in bringing him back for a third consecutive one-year contract.

That's not going to stop Starks from playing this season, however.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Chargers visited with Starks, a response to losing out on Bryant McKinnie to the Ravens.

San Diego is painfully thin at the tackle position, and did not address that need in the draft.

The Chargers were apparently interested in McKinnie, but after he re-signed with the Ravens, the Chargers are sending their attention elsewhere.

It's slim pickings now, though.

If Starks is the best tackle remaining on the free agent market, and the Chargers need a tackle, the move makes sense. Keep in mind, Starks was eight months removed from a torn ACL when the 2012 regular season started, which may account for some of his decreased lateral agility, which was apparent in the Steelers' early efforts to run the ball. Their commitment to that woefully unproductive running game was one of multiple issues plaguing the team as they got off to a 2-3 start through the first six weeks.

It still seems like the Steelers will sign Starks anyway, being that they've signed Starks to a one-year deal in each of the last two seasons.