Hall of Famer
Clark knows Steelers days may be numbered
PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Clark wasted little time acknowledging an uncomfortable truth after the loss that all but eliminated the Steelers from postseason contention.
Change is coming sooner rather than later, and it could sweep away most of the remaining veterans who won at least one Super Bowl with the Steelers and played in another.
“Any time you're in the last year of a contract and a team is playing a certain way you never know what moves they want to make,” Clark said Sunday after the Steelers' 34-28 loss to the Dolphins. “I think guys need to realize, and I have realized probably because I am older, faces change. You lose James Farriors and you lose Aaron Smiths, and it hurts and it's tough but everybody's time comes. For me I want to enjoy bit, keep playing, have fun.”
The Steelers have their share of pending free agents and they fall into two groups: veterans they may not try to re-sign and younger players they may not be able to re-sign because they command more money somewhere else.
Clark is clearly in the first category as he is in his 12th NFL season, turned 34 in October and is part of a secondary that desperately needs an infusion of youth.
He saw the Steelers make tough business decisions a couple of years ago when they released Farrior and Ward, two players who meant everything to the organization.
The same thing happened after last season when the Steelers did not try to re-sign Casey Hampton, a locker room favorite and one of the best run-stuffing nose tackles of his generation.
The Steelers rarely let sentiment get in the way of making difficult personnel decisions, and they don't figure to start now.
The franchise that has won a record six Lombardi Trophies is at a crossroads, and it faces another offseason that will be marked by turnover. Letting Clark walk may be one of the easier decisions it faces given his expiring contract and declining play.
That reality is the reason Clark is looking at the Steelers' final three games as anything but meaningless.
“I know (they) matter to me because for some of us this may be the last however many games in a Pittsburgh Steeler helmet, so you want to play well, you want to enjoy the time with your friends,” Clark said. “You just continue to play hard, you continue to have fun and for me that's what I'm going to do and then what happens with that happens.”
He shouldn't be back.
It's time to move on... either with Golden or a draft pick. We need some youth.
I think Golden has what it takes...but is he ready to start? Not sure.
We said the same thing about ILB. Farrior had to go, and Foote is promoted and gets hurt. No backup plan. Lost defensive captain. As much as anything, the defense's current play smacks of lost leadership. The salary cap situation forced the Steelers to transition much more quickly than they might normally have done in years past.
I'm not sure Will Allen is starter material either.
Originally Posted by Shawn
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Steelers spend a high draft pick on a FS in this upcoming draft.
Yeah, Clark is at the end. A great Steeler over the years, and sometimes that guy was the hardest hitter in the NFL - torpedo!
Let's enjoy his last few games.
Golden? WHAT makes anyone think Golden is anything but a warm body?? I've watched every Steeler game, certainly since Golden has been on the team. Other than Jay Cutler freight-training him, I've barely even seen him on the field. I can't remember a time that an announcer even made a comment about him (aside from the aforementioned trucking).
And people think he may be the heir apparent???
In today's salary cap age, leadership in the locker room means little if it doesn't translate to leadership (i.e. play) on the field. The Steelers can't afford to keep all your favorites just because of some vague notion of "leadership". Leadership is an earned commodity ... they earn it on the field. Old leaders must give way to young "potential" leaders .... that's just reality ... and yes it sucks, and it's biting us in the butt right now ... However, it's a fact.
Originally Posted by NorthCoast
Is it possible that a young undrafted free agent FS could be the "heir apparent" to an aging undrafted free agent FS? Yep. Guess we'll have to wait and see. Won't be that long of a wait. And since he's a Steeler, I "hope" (maybe not expect) he does well ("GOLDEN" even) ... don't you?
Originally Posted by Shoe
so the fans and clark know he should be gone. lets see if the front office is smart enuff to make the move.