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anger 82&95
06-27-2009, 04:50 PM
http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/06/27/stee ... yan-clark/ (http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/06/27/steelers-talking-about-extending-s-ryan-clark/)

A couple of months ago, the list of Steelers free agents after the 2009 season looked downright frightening. But slowly and surely, Pittsburgh is whittling down its collection of potential departures.

First the Steelers re-signed left tackle Max Starks to a four-year extension, now there's word that they are working on a long-term deal with free safety Ryan Clark. The news comes from the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora (as relayed by Pro Football Talk).

There's no word yet on what kind of length and bonus they're talking about, but considering that Clark is making only $1.7 million in base salary this year and he's already 29, we're not talking about a break the bank (or the salary cap) deal.

The Steelers signed Clark for a bargain deal after losing Chris Hope in free agency after the 2006 season. Hope has gone on to be a Pro Bowler in Tennessee, but Clark has proven to be just as good or even a better fit than Hope in the Steelers' defense because of his steady play in center field. When he went down with a ruptured spleen in 2007, the Steelers' defense never really recovered. His stead play at free safety is part of what allows strong safety Troy Polamalu to roam all over the field--Clark is the team's true last line of defense.

Unless second-year pro Ryan Mundy proves to be a surprise, Pittsburgh doesn't have a replacement for Clark on the roster, and as Polamalu's struggles as a rookie showed, it's not easy for any rookie to step in an play at safety for the Dick LeBeau's defense. So getting Clark re-signed has to rank as one of Pittsburgh's remaining offseason priorities.

BURGH86STEEL
06-27-2009, 08:35 PM
Will be nice if they can get something done with Clark. He probably has a good 3 or 4 solid years left. They might have to keep him away from Denver this season.