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Clark next target of the Steelers; what’s he really worth?

Now that both Casey Hampton and Jeff Reed will be back for the 2010 season, all indications are the teams next target is safety Ryan Clark. Last season I thought Clark didn’t play all that great, and I have felt his bark at the safety spot is a little more than his bite, but that is also due to the fact that he had to play most of the year without Troy Polamalu back there.

Right now, the Steelers I think are in the driving seat with Clark, as I don’t know many teams that will overpay for a 30-year-old safety that has had a tendency to get burned like toast on some plays. Still, Clark’s agent feels that his client will get a payday he deserves from the Steelers.

“They’ve paid plenty of other players a lot more than we’re asking for,” agent Joel Turner said. “It’s not a situation where Ryan is asking for too much money. We’re not asking for more than most people would. Keep in mind, Ryan is the best free safety not only in unrestricted free agency but restricted free agency. He’s the best free safety in the business.”

Hmmm…best free safety in the business? I guess Joel hasn’t seen some guy named Ed Reed play as of late, or Brian Dawkins, or maybe Darren Sharper. Yes, Clark is a nice player and the Steelers should make him a fair offer, but best in the business? Please. Make him an offer, keep it to 2-3 years, and don’t overpay for him, as if he walks, I think the team could find another somewhere to replace him.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. mark

    February 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I almost choked on my food when I read “best free safety in the business”. What business? I expect Clark to be back, at a fair rate, but I wouldnt miss him if he wasnt. Matter of fact, I dont think the team would miss him that much either. Clark has been a good FS, when Troy is paired with him. When he missed the game in Denver this season, Carter had a BIG game in his spot. Why? Troy was back there with him! See, Clark can be replaced.

  2. t1mmy10

    February 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    i agree with your take. he’s worth somewhere between 2.5-3.5mil/year. 4+mil/year and we could either get a better player for clark with that investment or someone of similar quality to clark for a lot less.

  3. DrGeorge

    March 1, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Troy, when healthy, elevates everyone’s game, but especially Clark’s, since they anticipate each other so well. I agree the Clark is not “the best” but he is certainly in the top third of NFL safeties, and that kind of talent and experience would be difficult to replace –which is why the Steelers will pay a fair price to keep him. Look for one of the young corners to be moved to Safety as a back up to learn this year and start in 2011. Just a guess.

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