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Starks gets the franchise tag


PITTSBURGH ― The Steelers announced today that unrestricted free agent OT Max Starks has been designated as the team's franchise player.

By designating Starks as their franchise player, the Steelers are guaranteed the right to match any offer that Starks receives from other teams. The Steelers would receive two first round draft picks if Starks signs with another club. Starks is guaranteed to receive the average of the top five NFL salaries at his position from 2008 or 120 percent of his prior year (2008) salary, whichever is greater.

Starks started the final 11 regular season games and all three postseason contests at left tackle for the Steelers in 2008. He has started 45 of his 72 games played in his first five seasons with the Steelers after being selected by the team in the third round (75th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Starks was designated as the Steelers' transition player for the 2008 season. The transition tag gives teams the right to match any offer a player receives from other teams.

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