Starks signs tender

Offensive tackle Max Starks signed his transition tender offer with the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday, making him the team's second-highest paid player for 2008.

Starks, the team's No. 3 offensive tackle in 2007 after losing the starting right tackle position to Willie Colon, will make just under $6.9 million in 2008 after signing the deal.

Only quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who signed an eight-year, $102-million contract extension in February, will have a higher value against the team's salary cap in 2008.

The 26-year-old Starks was the team's starting right tackle in 2005 and 2006, but was pushed to the bench by Colon in training camp. But Starks stepped in at left tackle late in the season when Marvel Smith suffered a back injury and performed well enough at the position that the Steelers felt they needed to place the transition tag on him rather than allow him to leave as a free agent.

Starks started four games at left tackle before suffering a damage to his meniscus in his right knee, an injury that required surgery and forced him to miss the team's playoff loss to Jacksonville.

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