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hawaiiansteel
03-17-2010, 06:15 PM
How did the Miami Dolphins lose out on Ryan Clark? It's complicated


BY JEFF DARLINGTON

MIAMIHERALD.COM

When a member of the Miami Dolphins' staff delivered Ryan Clark to his hotel following an afternoon visit to the team's facility Sunday, both sides agreed Clark would extend his trip another night to work toward finishing a contract with the former free agent.
The team needed time to negotiate over the telephone with Clark's agent, Joel Turner, who wasn't in town. Clark also wanted to have a few talks with Turner on his own.

It was standard procedure: The negotiations had begun, and a preliminary offer was on the table. Clark was scheduled to go to dinner with the defensive backs coaches, and his agent was set to continue talking numbers with the team's negotiators.

What happened during the following hour, according to team sources that corroborated the events, would result in a strange conclusion that has sent the Dolphins' personnel department back to the drawing boards to find a new starting safety.

The conclusion, in a nutshell, is quite simple: Clark left South Florida to re-sign with the Steelers for a four-year contract worth $14 million. But that's not the strange part.
The Dolphins never had an opportunity to give a second offer, the sources said. Instead, while they were still on the phone negotiating with the agent, someone in the building received a text message from a person in Pittsburgh.

Clark had agreed to terms with the Steelers, the text read. So how did it happen?

Apparently, Clark made the quick decision based on the Dolphins' inquisitions during the initial negotiating process with his agent -- questions that are often used in any negotiation when trying to leverage a fair price.

Clark, 30, missed the final half of the 2007 season after his spleen and gall bladder needed to be removed because a sickle-cell trait was aggravated due to high altitude when the Steelers were playing in Denver.

During his recovery, Clark lost more than 30 pounds because of a serious blood disorder. Last season, he didn't play against Denver so he wouldn't aggravate the injury.
But when the Dolphins began to express concern to his agent about Clark's health and age during those preliminary negotiations, Clark's agent then took those comments back to the safety.

The Dolphins still contend they certainly know Clark as a player (they've been scouting him since college), but they also felt it necessary to ask those questions of his agent. It was nothing unusual, sources said.

The following day, after abruptly leaving South Florida, Clark told a Pittsburgh television station, KDVR, that he didn't like the way Miami handled the negotiations.

"They told my agent, Look, we just don't know this guy. After we evaluate him more out there with us, maybe we'll feel different about it.' But I just figured, if this is how they feel, these things aren't going to change about me overnight,'' Clark said.

That's where he might have been wrong. Something was about to change overnight. In the case of any negotiations, the first offer is rarely the only offer. This was no different.

"The initial offer and the deal he took were almost identical,'' one source said. "Our first offer wasn't quite as much as his new contract in Pittsburgh. The second offer would have been higher.''

Had Clark hung around long enough to continue the negotiations (he was scheduled to have dinner Sunday night with the team's defensive backs coaches, but he decided to take Pittsburgh's offer within an hour of leaving the team's facility), the safety stood to earn a deal package worth $2 million more than the one he signed, a source said.

But the Dolphins must now move on.

RuthlessBurgher
03-17-2010, 06:36 PM
Colbert allowed Clark to hit free agency so another team could set the price (i.e. he wasn't going to start bidding against himself with an agent who foolishly thought that Clark was the best free safety in football). The Dolphins set a reasonable price with their initial offer (not something obscene like the Giants gave to Antrel Rolle...if that happened, he would have been elsewhere, like when the Redskins signed Randle El 4 years ago) and the Steelers were willing to match it, so Clark went back to the Steelers for that figure, since Pittsburgh is where he wanted to be all along. Simple enough, I think.

hawaiiansteel
03-17-2010, 07:14 PM
Colbert allowed Clark to hit free agency so another team could set the price (i.e. he wasn't going to start bidding against himself with an agent who foolishly thought that Clark was the best free safety in football). The Dolphins set a reasonable price with their initial offer (not something obscene like the Giants gave to Antrel Rolle...if that happened, he would have been elsewhere, like when the Redskins signed Randle El 4 years ago) and the Steelers were willing to match it, so Clark went back to the Steelers for that figure, since Pittsburgh is where he wanted to be all along. Simple enough, I think.



sounds like the Dolphins pissed Clark off just a little though with their negotiation tactics. Ryan Clark was most likely insulted enough to tell his agent to ask the Steelers if they were willing to slightly better the Dolphins' initial offer and Colbert was smart enough to get it done. :tt1

Steel Life
03-17-2010, 11:45 PM
Being down here in So.FL I can tell you that the team has a serious "Parcells is God" mentality & the HC Sparano can come off somewhat brusque. Considering the injury questions & negotiating tactics, I imagine they were all about how well they're going to do, while Clark knows how well it can be done. He should've just brought a CD of him jacking guys up & asked if they anyone who does that on a regular basis.

flippy
03-18-2010, 08:41 AM
I don't think Clark ever intended on leaving.

I suspect he just went to Miami to determine the number he'd want from the Steelers. Nothing more. Clark seems like a guy that loves being a Steeler.

SteelAbility
03-18-2010, 12:27 PM
However it went down, doesn't matter. Steelers now have the THE best free safety in football.

:roll: :wink: :tt2 :lol:

RuthlessBurgher
03-18-2010, 12:30 PM
However it went down, doesn't matter. Steelers now have the THE best free safety in football.

:roll: :wink: :tt2 :lol:

*if we trade up for Eric Berry. :P

MeetJoeGreene
03-18-2010, 03:09 PM
Colbert allowed Clark to hit free agency so another team could set the price (i.e. he wasn't going to start bidding against himself with an agent who foolishly thought that Clark was the best free safety in football). The Dolphins set a reasonable price with their initial offer (not something obscene like the Giants gave to Antrel Rolle...if that happened, he would have been elsewhere, like when the Redskins signed Randle El 4 years ago) and the Steelers were willing to match it, so Clark went back to the Steelers for that figure, since Pittsburgh is where he wanted to be all along. Simple enough, I think.

:Agree

aggiebones
03-22-2010, 03:41 PM
He wanted to stay in da Burgh. He got the market set and then told Pittsburgh to bump it up and he wouldn't wait for the second offer from Miami. He knew he'd probably get more from Miami, but probably didn't want to switch teams anyway.