New York Jets: Would Signing Max Starks Fix Their Offensive Line Problems?

Joseph KuchieCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2011

DENVER - AUGUST 29:  Offensive tackle Max Starks #78 of the Pittsburgh Steelers defends quarterback Ben Rothlisberger #7 against the Denver Broncos during preseason NFL action at INVESCO Field at Mile High on August 29, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 34-17.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

According to ESPN 1500, the Minnesota Vikings worked out former Steelers offensive linemen Max Starks to try to find an upgrade for the team's poor line play.

Starks, who was cut by Pittsburgh in the offseason after suffering a season-ending neck injury in 2010, has played in 95 games and started 68 in his career since being drafted in the third round of the 2004 draft.

At the time of his release, Starks was battling weight and conditioning issues, and some reports said that the tackle was up into the 370 pound range before the preseason. However, he is currently listed at 345 and was in shape enough to impress the Vikings on Monday.

Despite the workout, the Vikings did not sign the eight-year pro and Starks remains a free agent.

The next team on tap for a major offensive line change is the New York Jets, who are struggling to protect quarterback Mark Sanchez and is one of the main reasons why the "ground and pound" offense has disappeared. In three games this season, the unit has given up nine sacks and are only averaging 82 yards per game rushing.

So would Max Starks be the answer to their offensive line problems? Current right tackle Wayne Hunter has disappointed the team in 2011, and is playing his way out of the starting lineup. Hunter has been at fault for at least two sacks this season, while Starks has started at both left and right tackle in a Super Bowl.

In the four years that Starks started at least 10 games for Pittsburgh, the Steelers averaged 120.3 yards per game on the ground. He could potentially revamp a Jets run game that is almost 100 yards under their average per game from last year.

Starks also has the versatility to play on either the left or right side of the offensive line, something the Jets could use in terms of depth. The Nick Mangold injury proved that the Jets aren't prepared for big injuries to their offensive line, so signing Starks would give them an extra body with experience to play against the AFC's tough defenses.

Granted, this whole thing is hypothetical, but it would be intriguing to bring in Starks for a workout considering the state of the offensive line. What do you think?