Packers Re-Sign RB Starks to Two-Year Deal

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James Starks
Starks returns to Green Bay on a two-year deal

The Green Bay Packers have re-signed running back James Starks to a two-year contract.  The news broke last night via ESPN’s Adam Schefter (who else?) and his famous Twitter account.

Starks had just finished a visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers when he came to terms with the Packers.

Starks was a sixth-round draft pick for Green Bay in 2010.  He was placed on the physically unable to perform list after suffering an injury during training camp.  He made his debut in November of that year and was an instrumental piece to the Packers’ Super Bowl run that season.

Starks has had more than his fair share of injuries throughout his brief career, but when healthy, has proven to be effective in a tandem-type role.

The Packers currently have six running backs under contract:  Starks, Eddie Lacy, DuJuan Harris, Johnathan Franklin, Michael Hill and Orwin Smith.  Fullback John Kuhn may also return.  Hill and Smith would seem to be long shots to make the team’s roster this season, barring an injury.

Starks was thought to be on his way out of Green Bay heading into last year’s offseason when he had a strong training camp and pre season and found himself back in green and gold.  He likely faces a similar challenge this offseason, although the multiple year deal would indicate that the Packers probably have Starks in their plans for the 2014 season.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • JimR_in_DC

    I have to believe TT is going to trade one of our RBs before training camp.

    • JimR_in_DC

      Oh, and congrat’s on your new contract, Mr. Starks!

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        Nope – I think Kuhn gets the axe. :(

        DuJuan and Franklin are basically the same guy.

        Eddie and James are great complements too.

        Injury insurance. Eddie will still get 75% of the carries at least.

        • wagszilla

          DuJuan and Franklin are not basically the same guy.

          Not at all.

          • http://allgbp.com Charlie

            Why not? Thought they were both 3rd down, change-of-pace, scatbacks.

            • Oppy

              DuJuan Harris isn’t much of a change-of-pace from Eddy Lacy. But that’s why I like him.

              DuJuan is a head-down banger like Lacy is. He probably doesn’t have the wiggle Lacy does, but that’s okay.

              Harris can spell Lacy and keep him fresh and healthy without giving the defense a break from the bruising. In fact, that might mean Lacy is even stronger later in the game.

              Come third quarter, after the defense is good and tired of getting beat up by big strong running backs… THAT’S when you drop in the change-of-pace back, and that back is James Starks.

              We already saw last season that defenses, after getting a heavy dose of Lacy’s rough and tumble running, were not easily able to adjust to Starks unexpected burst.

              Lacy/Harris/Starks looks like a winning combination to me!

              • Wagszilla

                Well said Oppy.

                Harris is better than Lacy catching the ball out of the backfield, he’s got a little more of that quick burst acceleration. I really hope he’s going to deliver this year. Let’s just hope he’s healthy.

              • http://allgbp.com Charlie

                I’ll take your word for it, but I didn’t see a 5’8″, 203# back as a banger.

              • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

                While I agree the 3 sounds great at this time, the Packers, Fans, no one really knows how he’ll come back. At the end of April last year Franklin was “The Steal of the Draft” on most Packers websites. Now, because he put the ball on the ground a few times, he’s hardly mentioned anymore. Franklin will be one of the pleasant surprises this season, just watch.

              • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

                If it comes down to Harris or Franklin, I promise you TT takes Franklin. Harris hasn’t played in a year and I hope he comes back and plays like he did but know body has a clue how he’ll look.

              • Oppy

                Nick, I totally see where you’re comming from, but also keep in mind that before before Dejuan was injured, McCarthy was all fired up about building the run game around him. You are right about coming back from injury. Hope he returns 100%

    • aaronqb

      Who gets traded? If someone wanted Starks they could have signed him. Lacy is untouchable. Harris may not be healthy – why would someone trade for him? Franklin didn’t show much last year. Another team could get someone like him on the waiver wire at no cost.

      • marpag

        More than that, if the Packers traded Starks, they would have to eat the signing bonus they just gave him… whatever that was. And that wouldn’t be very smart.

        It’s a slam dunk that the Packers want to hold on to Starks. If I were them, I’d want to keep Harris too, because I thought he flashed some talent.

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      Good Joke.

  • Charles Martin

    Just stay healthy Starks…When healthy he is a stud…

    • Razer

      Indeed “stay healthy”, those are the magic words. With Lacy as the main carrier, I think that Starks can do just that.

  • palmda

    Sounds like TT is getting the band back together, they did so well last season. I hope he came cheap. So far we have the same crappy defense plus one aging Chicago bear.

    • Razer

      In some cases it is addition by subtraction. Knowing that some of your personnel are not going to get to the next level and letting go of that hope is a good thing. Cutting MacMillain, letting MD Jennings walk and not resigning Wilson and Pickett (not the singer) says we intend to make some changes. Peppers, despite his miles, will make our front seven more dangerous. Add a draft pick and you have more pressure, mobility and more flexibility. Ted didn’t sit still on a poor defense. You may not like his moves but between him, MM and Capers they are building something different and, I believe, better than we’ve had for the last 3 years. Have some faith.

      • Archie

        Can’t get any worse. Hard to have faith in TT/MM/DC at this point. Time for a clean sweep. Two years and counting ….

        • Bubbaloo

          Archie, Mark Murphy doesn’t have the huevos to fire anyone! The guy is purely and simply a politician that’s running a football team. Nothing will happen to Albino Ted and/or McPuffy until the Board of directors gets sick of losing in the first round of the play-offs every year, and just maybe that Board could use some new blood as well!

          • marpag

            Please. Mark Murphy played safety in the NFL for 8 seasons, made the Pro-Bowl twice, won a superbowl as a player, and could crack you like a walnut.

            • Charles Martin

              marpag, back when he was bald, he was definately bad azz…

              • marpag

                I don’t think his Redskin teammates remember him ever being bald… but they might remember when he led the league in interceptions with 9 in 1983. Or when he iced the victory for Washington in Superbowl XVII with a second half pick.

          • Pack since I was 5

            Archie and Bubbaloo from Minn. All the effort to come up with “new” clever names shows how much you love the Pack, and want to win. The only problem you have is team history and not being able to tell McP and Al your ideas

    • SchenySchen

      Sometimes I feel like people are being negative just to get me going, and it’s working. Good health is what this team needs. A good draft and good health and I predict a super bowl victory.

      • Savage57

        Love your optimism, but in March about 20 other team’s fan bases predict the exact same thing.

        • Stroh

          Maybe so but only about 8 of them have the QB to seal the deal.

        • SchenySchen

          Savage, you hit it on the head, I like to be optimistic. Using my energy to be excited about something is a lot more fun than using my energy to crap on the parade. Not saying its the right/wrong way to be, just how I am. — Stroh’s point below is also very true. GoPack!

  • James David

    On offense, draft TE C. J. Fiedorowicz and a center just in case. Green Bay should then have one of the best run games in the NFL. A good blocking TE can replace FB Kuhn.

  • brian

    I think this signing is all about protecting the investment in Lacy. A second physical back to help prolong the big man’s career. Also a strong running game helps keep Rodgers healthy. This signing is a win win. Let the man run.

  • GBPDAN

    I agree with Brian, Starks will help prolong Laceys productivity through the years. Damn, the Pack is loaded at RB. Starks averaged 5.5 a carry last year and I can’t wait to see Harris back . Franklin could show something this year, also.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

    • Charles Martin

      I believe that the “best available” is a cop out term. Tells me you don’t have the balls to pick the one that is going to impact your team now. And who decides the “best available”? TTandMM will be picking the best fit for the Packers right now. Anything else is a gamble…

      • Anonymous

        I agree – BPA is mostly bull unless you don’t have many weaknesses. Cincy, Seattle & maybe a few others could go BPA this year. But c’mon. Is GB going to take a RB in the 1t few rounds? Where would you put him. Another D-lineman? How many do they have now? Another Offensive Tackle? Don’t think so. Need plays a huge part in the draft process – all GM’s play it down.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

  • Anonymous

    Good job Ted now sign a veteran safety and Draft day s ilb.or Te best available.

    • marpag

      Dang, bro! Lighten up on the mouse keys, huh?

    • http://allgbp.com Charlie

      Heard you the first (and second, et. al.) time.

  • Since ’61

    Glad to have Starks back. With the offense as the strength of the team I would like to retain it as intact as possible and add some depth. With Starks back we are solid at RB with Lacy, and a healthy Harris. We’ll be fine at WR even with the loss of JJ. Need a TE. Wish that we could have kept EDS. Hopefully we can draft a true center, regardless of Trotter’s status. Center is the one position on the OL where I prefer to have a true center as the starter, rather than a player from another OL position. You can interchange guards and tackles but moving a guard to center is always tricky, except in case of an injury and you have a guard with some center experience. I’m sure that we can draft a quality center in 3rd or 4th round. Then Trotter can be depth for the guards or center positions. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  • Magic

    I’ll throw in my 2 cents and agree with James David. Should be able to get CJ Fiedorowicz in the late third and he’d be a monster upgrade for the run game. Go back and watch the comeback win over the Cowboys (Unless I’m the only one who kept that to put a smile on my face when I’m in a bad mood) If Quarless could just block his guy decently, Lacy could have had a career day.

  • the real russ letlow

    I think there is room for all 4 of the backs on the roster. If we remember last season, by the end of the Cincy game, all 4 of these RBs were hurt (Lacy – concussion; Starks – Knee, Harris – IR knee, Frankiln – banged up his knee vs Cincy but kept playing). RB are gonna get nicked, so if you got em, keep em.

    • Hank Scorpio

      4 runners among the expected 5 backs on the final 53 is a waste of a roster spot. The 4th guy will only see the light of day in the event something goes wrong. Heck, the 3rd guy won’t get many touches except in the event of injury.

      I’d much rather they go with 3 runners and 2 blockers in the backfield. Kuhn is an ace in pass protection but not much of a lead blocker. He would be the primary single back in pure pass situations like the 2 minute offense. Then find a hammer lead blocker to be the primary FB in the 4 minute offense and short yardage. This guy can be groomed in pass protection for the expected departure of Kuhn in 2015 (assuming Kuhn is re-signed for 2014).

      FBs may not be in vogue in the NFL anymore but they’re cheap and can have value both on offense and special teams.

      • Ed Schoenfeld

        Like a lot of teams, we are moving to so-called H-backs and ‘move’ TEs as backfield blockers. Why use a second FB to do the same job your 3rd and 4th TEs can do?

        But you will be happy they have a 4th runner to put on the field in about week 11 or 13, when the other 3 are banged up.

        Of course, that assumes Harris comes back from his injury and Franklin develops as expected.

        • Hank Scorpio

          Ed,

          I’d be fine with the approach of using TEs in the backfield, too. But I don’t see the Packers doing that with their current roster. Bostick is not much of a blocker at all. He’s Finley Lite. Stoneburner and Taylor just plain stink. Quarless is more like the traditional inline TE. Tom Crabtree was that “TE in the backfield” guy but they let him walk because they didn’t want to offer him a RFA tender.

          Bottom line for me is the expected contribution of each roster spot. Protecting Rodgers is a primary function of the Packer offense. Kuhn pass protecting for 16 games beats keeping a guy that might be useful for 1 or 2 if the worst happens, IMO. The same basic thing applies to finding a guy that can clear out a LB in the hole for Lacy. 16 games of that beats an insurance policy you hope you don’t need, IMO.

          Not to mention that this is a pass-first team. They will not be beating anyone with a devastating ground attack because it isn’t all that devastating. It’s nice to provide balance for Rodgers. But how much balance is the 4th RB going to add? If such a guy is pounding out yards when called upon, chances are he’s getting pretty good blocking. Which means pretty much any schmoe brought in off the street when necessary could do the same.

  • chad lundberg

    Not that I don’t like having Starks with the Pack, nor do I think he’s a bad player, but I actually wished he had been able to sign with another team.

    I don’t think I’ve seen enough of Dujuan Harris or Jonathan Franklin to judge their total potential, but I feel as though they’re good enough.

    Starks is talented, he had a 5.4 rushing average last year. Talent like that deserves a sizable contract, and the Packers don’t have the means to give him one.

    If he actually were able to stay healthy, I think another team would have signed him and quickly.

    For James sake, I wish he had a better opportunity else where. Not that I’m complaining about having him of course.

    • SchenySchen

      5.4 yard average but the very unforgiving “injury” status most often…..is why no one will sign him to the contract you reference. Harris is the one that will get the axe of the main 4. Hill and that other guy are camp fodder. Franklin may contribute on ST’s as either a returner or gunner… Harris, not so much. GoPack!

    • Anonymous

      Starks is a ‘Big’ back, like Lacey. Franklin and Harris are both ‘smaller and quicker’ backs. Neither Franklin or Harris really give you the ability to give Lacy a breather and keep the offense the same. Starks does. I am glad he is back in Green Bay and did not waht to see him sign elsewhere.

  • WKUPackFan