Max Starks and Antwaan Randle El have been integral parts of multiple Super Bowl runs by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the past decade or so. That comes to an end Thursday: the Steelers announced on Twitter that they had released both Starks and Randle El, leaving Pittsburgh with some work to do in the 2011 NFL free agency period.
Of the two players, Starks will be harder to replace. He started just seven games for the Steelers in 2010 before being placed on injured reserve, but had played in all but two games for the Steelers since 2005, starting 68. His release is likely predicated in part on his weight ballooning to the "high 300s."
Randle El's exploits with the Steelers are a bit further in the past; thus, his present value is much smaller. Randle El had just 22 catches in 2010 after returning to Pittsburgh from Washington, the fewest in any season in his NFL career. He recorded zero starts and had zero touchdowns last season after making 23 starts in his first four-year stint with the Steelers.