Report: Former Packers RB James Starks to visit Pittsburgh Monday

James Starks would complement Le'Veon Bell nicely in Pittsburgh. (USATSI)
James Starks would complement Le'Veon Bell nicely in Pittsburgh. (USATSI)

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The Steelers bolstered their running game a year ago when they used a second-round pick on Le'Veon Bell. But with backup Jonathan Dwyer now in Arizona and practice squadder Alvester Alexander the only other running back on the roster, the team is actively looking to add depth. To that end, former Packer James Starks will pay a visit to the South Side Monday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tyler Dunne.

Starks, a 2010 sixth-round pick out of Buffalo, has battled injures for much of his career, but has been productive when healthy. He played in just three games as a rookie, and six games in 2012. But in 13 games last season, he rushed for 493 yards on 89 carries, good for a 5.5 YPC average.

According to Football Outsiders, Starks was the most productive back with fewer than 99 carries, just ahead of Toby Gerhart, who signed a four-year, $10.5 deal with the Jaguars earlier this week.

And lists Starks as one of the top 10 free-agent bargains, noting that, "...what you have is a back who hasn’t produced on a full starter's load but has shown himself to be tough to tackle with an elusiveness that should make some team very happy for bringing him on board this offseason."

In a depressed free-agent running backs market, the 28-year-old, 6-2, 218-pounder could come relatively cheap for a Steelers team that saw its running game improve as the 2013 season progressed. And it should be even better in 2014, with new offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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