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Thread: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

  1. #1
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    Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark
    A look at the other free agents the Steelers must decide on in anticipation of the start of free agency on March 5: Money will decide if Clark stays a Steeler
    Monday, January 25, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10025/1030899-66.stm

    Safety Ryan Clark wants to stay. The Steelers want to re-sign him.

    So, what could be the problem?

    Money. It always comes down to money. Often when a player leaves a team as a free agent, it is not because he wanted to leave or the team did not want him back, the sides just could not agree on the money.

    First, let us get Clark's intentions up front. He wants to come back and play for the Steelers in 2010, rejoining Pro Bowl strong safety Troy Polamalu.

    "Yeah, I do. I do," Clark said. "It's a great place to play. I think the Rooney family runs the team the way an organization should be run. I want to come back and make it right too. I want to come back and play with Troy, get all our guys back and make another run at it."

    How much value do the Steelers place on Ryan Clark as their free safety vs. what Clark and his agent want? The average annual compensation for the top 10 safeties (both free and strong) a year ago was $5.13 million. No. 2 on that list was Polamalu at $6.82 million. Clark counted $2.4 million on the salary cap last year.

    Clark had a good season with the Steelers in 2009 and they needed it with Polamalu missing 11 games. But they are not likely to have their two safeties among the highest-paid players on their defense.

    Could Clark get more elsewhere by becoming an unrestricted free agent March 5? Undoubtedly. Clark re-signing with the Steelers will boil down to how much less he is willing to take from them vs. going elsewhere.

    "I'm going to do everything possible to make that happen," said agent Joel Turner, who believes talks with the Steelers will commence early in February. "To be perfectly honest, I don't see why it shouldn't happen. Unless Mr. Rooney doesn't want him back, no way it should not happen.

    "We will not sell out for a song, and we will not ask to be the highest paid at his position. We're extremely reasonable and fair-minded people."

    The NFL is steaming toward its first uncapped year on payrolls since 1992 and while that means teams can pay whatever they want, Steelers president Art Rooney II said his team will stay within normal guidelines.

    The Steelers did not make an offer to Clark last year when he had one season left on his contract. That is a window the Steelers often use to negotiate extensions and they did so with James Harrison, Brett Keisel, Heath Miller, Justin Hartwig and Max Starks in 2009.

    The Steelers want to sign others before they can become free agents March 5 and have done that previously. Besides Clark, they aim to try to sign Jeff Reed and Casey Hampton. Turner said he had a conversation with Steelers executives Kevin Colbert and Omar Khan in August about Clark.

    "Kevin and Omar told me they want Ryan Clark here, that they intend him staying here. Omar said Ryan will retire a Pittsburgh Steeler."

    Clark, 29, ranked second on the team last season with 110 tackles, tied for first with three interceptions and ranked third with nine pass breakups. He has also become a leader on defense and a contributor in their community. Naturally, the Steelers would want him back. If he leaves, they would have to draft someone, sign a free agent or insert Ryan Mundy to replace him and not likely get the same performance level.

    "Ryan really wants to stay there, as does his wife and children," Turner said. "They've made that their home. We're going to do everything humanly possible to make that happen. The Steelers' organization is very fair. I don't expect them to try to come in under market value and I'm not going to come in and say we want more than Ed Reed."

    Everyone in these circumstances has said the right thing. Soon, money will do all the talking.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10025/10 ... z0dbSTz74h

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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    On a reasonable contract, there is no reason Clark shouldn't be brought back.

    That being said, the Steelers still need an upgrade at FS, even if it's only a depth thing for next season, before inserting Clark in as the back-up FS/SS.

    Chadman is starting to think we havn't given the implecations of NO SALARY CAP enough thought- there is no reason the Steelers can't re-sign all the FA's they want, so long as they don't break the roster limit. So there is no real reason for teams or players to be worried about bringing players back at a 'reasonable price'. If the Steelers are serious about winning another SB, why not bring back Clark & Hampton, sign a couple of FA's while we are at it.
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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    after reading this article I now believe the Steelers will re-sign Ryan Clark and NOT draft a FS in the 1st round...

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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
    after reading this article I now believe the Steelers will re-sign Ryan Clark and NOT draft a FS in the 1st round...
    I don't agree. I think the Hampton issue prevents them from resigning Clark for anything other than a discount. Clarks says the right things but actions speak louder than words and he knows this is his last big contract so he will want a raise over what he gets now. I just don't think we can do that.

    As pointed out it is tough to have your two Safeties as two of the highest paid players on your defense especially when Clark really isn't a playmaking FS who gets lots of picks.

    I just think with Hampton and Colon (yes I know he can be tagged, but they probably want him long term) as priorities Clark is the odd man out.
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  5. #5

    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    On a reasonable contract, there is no reason Clark shouldn't be brought back.

    That being said, the Steelers still need an upgrade at FS, even if it's only a depth thing for next season, before inserting Clark in as the back-up FS/SS.

    Chadman is starting to think we havn't given the implecations of NO SALARY CAP enough thought- there is no reason the Steelers can't re-sign all the FA's they want, so long as they don't break the roster limit. So there is no real reason for teams or players to be worried about bringing players back at a 'reasonable price'. If the Steelers are serious about winning another SB, why not bring back Clark & Hampton, sign a couple of FA's while we are at it.
    Because the Rooney's do not have an unlimited budget. The Rooney's, like most ownership groups, have to also consider the fact that there won't be a full season in 2011. Which means there may not be full revenue. I think a lot of teams will be conservative this year with money. An owner like Dan Snyder is an exception since he owns one of the richest franchise's in the league.
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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxAMillion
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    On a reasonable contract, there is no reason Clark shouldn't be brought back.

    That being said, the Steelers still need an upgrade at FS, even if it's only a depth thing for next season, before inserting Clark in as the back-up FS/SS.

    Chadman is starting to think we havn't given the implecations of NO SALARY CAP enough thought- there is no reason the Steelers can't re-sign all the FA's they want, so long as they don't break the roster limit. So there is no real reason for teams or players to be worried about bringing players back at a 'reasonable price'. If the Steelers are serious about winning another SB, why not bring back Clark & Hampton, sign a couple of FA's while we are at it.
    Because the Rooney's do not have an unlimited budget. The Rooney's, like most ownership groups, have to also consider the fact that there won't be a full season in 2011. Which means there may not be full revenue. I think a lot of teams will be conservative this year with money. An owner like Dan Snyder is an exception since he owns one of the richest franchise's in the league.
    If there is a lockout in 2011 while there will not be full revenue in 2011 there likewise won't be expenses since no players will be getting paid.

    I do think that owners will for the most part be frugal which could drive down prices in the FA market.
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  7. #7

    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    I'm very ambivalent about Clark returning. Before the season, I would have said that he was a priority, mainly because he is a good compliment to Troy. But after seeing his performance without Troy, I'm a little more mixed.

    If he takes a reasonable deal, then there is no reason for him not to return. I don't think it precludes a high pick at safety. The Steelers need another safety who can cover, for depth, sub packages, and as an eventual successor to Clark. Carter is almost certainly gone, Mundy hasn't shown much, so bringing back Clark does make sense because it provides some stability.

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    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq
    I'm very ambivalent about Clark returning. Before the season, I would have said that he was a priority, mainly because he is a good compliment to Troy. But after seeing his performance without Troy, I'm a little more mixed.

    If he takes a reasonable deal, then there is no reason for him not to return. I don't think it precludes a high pick at safety. The Steelers need another safety who can cover, for depth, sub packages, and as an eventual successor to Clark. Carter is almost certainly gone, Mundy hasn't shown much, so bringing back Carter does make sense because it provides some stability.
    I will become violently ill if Tyrone Carter is on this roster next season
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  9. #9

    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq
    I'm very ambivalent about Clark returning. Before the season, I would have said that he was a priority, mainly because he is a good compliment to Troy. But after seeing his performance without Troy, I'm a little more mixed.

    If he takes a reasonable deal, then there is no reason for him not to return. I don't think it precludes a high pick at safety. The Steelers need another safety who can cover, for depth, sub packages, and as an eventual successor to Clark. Carter is almost certainly gone, Mundy hasn't shown much, so bringing back Carter does make sense because it provides some stability.
    I will become violently ill if Tyrone Carter is on this roster next season
    I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning, and mixed up some names. That was supposed to be Clark. I'm with you on Carter -- no way he should be on the roster.

  10. #10

    Re: Steelers Free Agent Decisions: Ryan Clark

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman
    On a reasonable contract, there is no reason Clark shouldn't be brought back.

    That being said, the Steelers still need an upgrade at FS, even if it's only a depth thing for next season, before inserting Clark in as the back-up FS/SS.

    Chadman is starting to think we havn't given the implecations of NO SALARY CAP enough thought- there is no reason the Steelers can't re-sign all the FA's they want, so long as they don't break the roster limit. So there is no real reason for teams or players to be worried about bringing players back at a 'reasonable price'. If the Steelers are serious about winning another SB, why not bring back Clark & Hampton, sign a couple of FA's while we are at it.
    I 100% agree. Clark is a solid FS. Clark was not the issue. Gay, Farrior, the Troy injury and our aging DL were the issues. Gay played very poorly...our D looked tired and gave up alot of 4th quarter points. We need an upgrade for Farrior and we need real depth on D. How long can a D fill it's back up roster with UDFA/7th round scrubs before it comes back to bite them?

    If we sign Clark and Hampton...this would allow us to truly draft the BPA. Anything becomes possible...which is what the Steelers like to do. Drafting a RB, TE, DE, or an ILB become real possibilities.

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