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Galax Steeler
02-26-2010, 03:32 AM
With two of their three priorities secured, the Steelers will try to lock up safety Ryan Clark before he can become an unrestricted free agent one week from today.

The Steelers and nose tackle Casey Hampton came to a three-year contract agreement Thursday worth $21.3 million that includes a $6.5 million signing bonus. Then, they placed the franchise tag on kicker Jeff Reed, meaning he will earn $2,814,000 in 2010 -- the average of the top five kickers in the NFL.

They declined to use the transition tag that was still available to them to protect some of their rights to Clark, a tag that expired at 4 p.m. Thursday. Had they done so, they would have paid him $6,011,000 this season. Instead, they hope to negotiate a multiyear contract with their starting free safety of the past four seasons.

Team officials had identified Clark, Hampton and Reed as their top priorities to sign before free agency begins.

"Ryan is one of the three starters ... we've taken care of one, moved closer with another and we'll continue to talk," Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said in Indianapolis, where the NFL scouting combine opened Thursday. "With all of these guys, they want to stay, we want them to stay. Usually, when you have that type of mindset on both sides, it helps get deals done."

Clark, 30, often has said he wants to remain with the Steelers and continue to play with Pro Bowl strong safety Troy Polamalu, but Polamalu in a way could prevent that. Polamalu was the second-highest paid safety in the NFL last season and will count $8,295,000 against their salary cap in 2010. Clark believes he belongs among the best safeties in the league and surely will want to be paid as such.

"He's offering himself at hometown discount, so to speak," agent Joel Turner said. "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 ... he does a marvelous job of quarterbacking the defense. This is not a situation where this is some average guy. Ryan is superior at his position."

By placing the franchise tag on Reed, the Steelers virtually eliminated him from leaving in free agency. It would provide the Steelers with two first-round draft choices in return if he signs elsewhere.

"Our goal is to lock Jeff up long term and have him finish his career with the Steelers," Colbert said. "He's aware when the process gets to this point, we all need to buy some time. As long as players and agents are willing to stay with the team, and the team wants you, you're going to get a deal done. We want to keep Jeff as long as we can."

Hampton, who will be 33 years old next season, will remain with the Steelers through the 2012 season under the new deal. Hampton would have been paid a $7 million salary if he had been franchised.

"It was very important for our organization to have a player of Casey's caliber signed for what we hope is the rest of his career," Colbert said. "Casey has been a big part of our success, and we think he has a lot of football left. Plus, we think he's one of our true leaders, and to get this free-agency period kicked off early by getting him locked up, means a lot to our organization."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10057/1038745-66.stm

solardave
02-26-2010, 04:11 AM
So far it is running smoothly. We lock up Clark and Reed then start looking to the future with draft picks for need but still I know the FO will look for best player available. This years draft looks promising.

pete74
02-26-2010, 04:26 AM
sorry but clark does not deserve top 5-10 money

mulldog24
02-26-2010, 08:01 AM
I hope we do get Clark signed so we can go into the draft without having to have one guy or one position. We can just get BPA. I think Clark is a very good Safety and am optimistic about the Steelers getting a deal done that is beneficial to both sides.

kirklandrules
02-26-2010, 09:12 AM
sorry but clark does not deserve top 5-10 money

It's tough to say Clark doesn't deserve 5-10 money. I would say he's definitely in the top 10 FS. Judging his performance this past year is difficult. Our CBs played so poorly, it's hard to say if Clark's game is going downhill. Trying to cover the mistakes at CB as well as the poor play at SS and still do your own job at FS is impossible in the NFL. Something tells me Clark isn't much worse than how he played in 2008 (remember some of the hits and pixs he had?) and that helped lead our team to a title. So is he worth the money? :noidea:

7willBheaven
02-26-2010, 11:03 AM
I hope we do get Clark signed so we can go into the draft without having to have one guy or one position. We can just get BPA. I think Clark is a very good Safety and am optimistic about the Steelers getting a deal done that is beneficial to both sides.


Even with signing Clark/etc....we need to plan for the future at positions we need or will need...S is still a need, NT we need a replacement to be drafted soon, ILB (even backup OLBs)...C, even a stud OT...or CBs. You cant just say oh well theres a really good RB/WR/etc on the board lets take him cause he's the BPA. Thats NOT how you build through the draft. Now if the BPA is one of our positions of need/etc and the person is worth the pick then OK...though I'd rank some positions higher than others but still.

fat4jc
02-26-2010, 11:48 AM
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 ...

Ummm, I like Clark and all, but, HuH?

fansince'76
02-26-2010, 11:54 AM
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 ...

Ummm, I like Clark and all, but, HuH?

Keep in mind who made that statement.

....agent Joel Turner said....

Every agent's client is "the best in the business" according to the agent.

SteelerFanInStl
02-26-2010, 12:02 PM
Ummm, I like Clark and all, but, HuH?

That whole paragraph where that sentence came from pretty much says it all to me. His agent is on crack if he thinks that Clark is the best FS in the NFL. He's not even close.

pete74
02-26-2010, 12:06 PM
i dont know what i was saying before. clark is a top 10 but not a top 5. i can think of 5 others i would rather have but not 10. he definatly is not the best in the nfl by any means, hell look what sharper did last year compared to clark

RoethlisBURGHer
02-26-2010, 12:07 PM
I think Clark is one of the better free safeties in the NFL. I would say he's a top 10 free safety. But if you lump both of the safety positions together, I would say that he's not in that group.

I hope we get Clark signed. He plays very well with Polamalu, they played together for three years before Troy's injury riddled season of 2009. No Polamalu changes the way the defense plays because he makes plays that no other defensive back in the NFL makes. It changes assignments too, and it's harder with no Polamalu and then poor play at corner.

Is Clark worth $6M a year? No. But I think he's worth around $3M a year.

As for the draft, the Steelers need to focus on defense and the offensive line. If the BPA is a NT, CB, S, or OL....I think we should take him.

xbroughneck
02-26-2010, 12:26 PM
It's tough to say Clark doesn't deserve 5-10 money. I would say he's definitely in the top 10 FS. Judging his performance this past year is difficult. Our CBs played so poorly, it's hard to say if Clark's game is going downhill. Trying to cover the mistakes at CB as well as the poor play at SS and still do your own job at FS is impossible in the NFL. Something tells me Clark isn't much worse than how he played in 2008 (remember some of the hits and pixs he had?) and that helped lead our team to a title. So is he worth the money? :noidea:

He's been a safety in this league 8 years and he has 8 picks. That's playing the FREE SAFETY spot.

He is not even a top 10 FREE safety, much less one of the top 10 safeties in the league. He's just not.

Maybe top 20 overall safety, but nowhere near top 10 and this season proved it.

Other than Troy, every safety on this roster is replaceable. That's the way it's always been in Pittsburgh. Even Carnell Lake was replaceable.

xbroughneck
02-26-2010, 12:28 PM
I think Clark is one of the better free safeties in the NFL. I would say he's a top 10 free safety.

Please define the responsibility of a free safety (not in this defense) in general. I'd say Ryan benefits from playing with Troy a lot.

Stick Tyrone Carter in there instead of Troy and we've got a more realistic Ryan Clark performance IMHO.

Not that Wikipedia is a reliable source but...

The free safety tends to be smaller and faster than the strong safety. His job tends to be to keep some distance from the line of scrimmage, watch the play unfold, and follow the ball. On pass plays, the free safety is expected to assist the cornerback on his side and to close the distance to the receiver by the time the ball reaches him. Offenses tend to use the play action pass specifically to make the free safety expect a run play, which would draw him closer to the line of scrimmage, and reduce his effectiveness as a pass defender. If the offense puts a receiver in the slot, then the free safety may be called upon to cover that receiver. Free safeties occasionally blitz as well. When this happens, the pressure on the quarterback is often very severe since a blitz by a defensive back is not usually anticipated. Free safeties, because of their speed and deep coverage, are often prone to catching interceptions.

I'd argue that the Ryan Clark (without Troy) is not one of the best in the league at this.

7willBheaven
02-26-2010, 12:48 PM
I love how everyone gets all...i dont know...bent out of shape...or something when someones AGENT gives the usual BS speech saying this player is the best in the league/etc...thats just is and always will be agent talk. Nobody here REALLY knows whats going on INSIDE the meeting room and such. Just relax....i think they will get a reasonable 3 or so year done before he becomes an official FA.

kirklandrules
02-26-2010, 01:19 PM
He's been a safety in this league 8 years and he has 8 picks. That's playing the FREE SAFETY spot.

He is not even a top 10 FREE safety, much less one of the top 10 safeties in the league. He's just not.

Maybe top 20 overall safety, but nowhere near top 10 and this season proved it.

Other than Troy, every safety on this roster is replaceable. That's the way it's always been in Pittsburgh. Even Carnell Lake was replaceable.

Totally disagree that Clark is not a top 10 FS. I don't disagree that he's replaceable and obviously only Troy is unreplaceable in that secondary. My point is that we didn't see the value of Clark this past year because all other positions in the secondary performed like a toyota accelerator. I'd sign this guy to a reasonable contract (not what his agent wants ... that greedy lawyer s.o.b.) and worry about depth behind Troy ... 'cause Carter's not a top 50 SS (obvious sarcasm here, but he's not a solution when Troy goes down).

xbroughneck
02-26-2010, 01:44 PM
Oh, I'd take Ryan for 3 mill a year in a heartbeat. IMHO he's good enough to start beside Troy. Like you said though, Ty Carter may require that we have better than Ryan as a starter.

If we draft a safety with the first pick AND sign Ryan to a 3 year deal, I'd say we're looking good. I doubt Ryan would go for a 3 year, 9.5 million deal though. I think he feels he's worth more than that.

Northside Jonny
02-26-2010, 01:58 PM
If you go to NFL .com and look up the 2009 stats for all FS in the league, you would see that Ryan is the #9 safety in the game when it comes to tackles(89) . He also compares well in passes defended(11) and int's (3). Do a little research instead of just basing your post on personal opinion. Clark is with out a doubt a top 10 FS.

Psyychoward86
02-26-2010, 02:51 PM
If you go to NFL .com and look up the 2009 stats for all FS in the league, you would see that Ryan is the #9 safety in the game when it comes to tackles(89) . He also compares well in passes defended(11) and int's (3). Do a little research instead of just basing your post on personal opinion. Clark is with out a doubt a top 10 FS.

Defensive backs are probably one of the worst group of players to measure by statistics.

More tackles does not mean they are better. Neither do interceptions. Neither do passes defensed.

u cant measure DB's like that


remember two years ago when Deangelo hall had 3 interceptions halfway through the season? Yeah, he was actually doing really bad for the raiders.

43Hitman
02-26-2010, 03:12 PM
Defensive backs are probably one of the worst group of players to measure by statistics.

More tackles does not mean they are better. Neither do interceptions. Neither do passes defensed.

u cant measure DB's like that


remember two years ago when Deangelo hall had 3 interceptions halfway through the season? Yeah, he was actually doing really bad for the raiders.

Then what do you measure them by?

Northside Jonny
02-26-2010, 03:17 PM
If you go to NFL .com and look up the 2009 stats for all FS in the league, you would see that Ryan is the #9 safety in the game when it comes to tackles(89) . He also compares well in passes defended(11) and int's (3). Do a little research instead of just basing your post on personal opinion. Clark is with out a doubt a top 10 FS.

Defensive backs are probably one of the worst group of players to measure by statistics.

More tackles does not mean they are better. Neither do interceptions. Neither do passes defensed.

u cant measure DB's like that


remember two years ago when Deangelo hall had 3 interceptions halfway through the season? Yeah, he was actually doing really bad for the raiders.


What do you think he is going to use to negotiate his new contract? He isn't just gonna go in and say I want top 10 FS money and not bring a stats sheet with him to back it up.

kirklandrules
02-26-2010, 03:26 PM
Defensive backs are probably one of the worst group of players to measure by statistics.

More tackles does not mean they are better. Neither do interceptions. Neither do passes defensed.

u cant measure DB's like that


remember two years ago when Deangelo hall had 3 interceptions halfway through the season? Yeah, he was actually doing really bad for the raiders.

Actually I would think these stats apply to a saftey a little better than a CB. A safety plays a little more zone coverage and provides coverage help. So when it comes to tackles a CB, like Gay, may have a lot of tackles because he's basically stopping the receiver he's assigned to after the catch is made. But with a safety, there's so much run support and tackling the receiver that burned a guy like Guy. Also, for passes defended, you could say a low # of passes defended by a corner might be great if it's Revis (shut down corner) and the opposing QBs don't throw their way. But high #s of passes defended by a safety is usually pretty good because they provide so much help in coverage (defending a pass to a receiver that burned someone like Gay) and they are obviously defending the deep pass.

I'm not saying you hang your hat on stats for a safety, but it's more applicable to that group than CBs. Of course a member of the secondary really has to be good at the most important stat and that is # of picks. But in the end, I think Clark's stats are bolstered because he had more opportunity because the other secondary members weren't pulling their weight this year. I haven't looked it up, but I wouldn't be surprised if Clark wasn't rated lower for 2008 than 2009 because the rest of the secondary played much better and he didn't have to make all of those plays.

Not a big deal because I think most of us are in agreement that we would rather have Clark than loose him (or loose him knowing there's an upgrade to replace him).

kirklandrules
02-26-2010, 03:29 PM
And I did mean "LOSE" and not "LOOSE". My school teacher mom would be so ashamed of that error.:doh:

xbroughneck
02-26-2010, 03:30 PM
What do you think he is going to use to negotiate his new contract? He isn't just gonna go in and say I want top 10 FS money and not bring a stats sheet with him to back it up.


This is true.

BUT, the Steelers secondary needs a ball hawk. Ryan Clarks stat sheet shows that he is NOT a ballhawk. I hard hitter, yes. (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/C/ClarRy20.htm)

I think he's very limited in what he can do as a safety, so I think he doesn't deserve more than 4 mil a year. Not saying he's a bad guy, and I'm not saying I won't be happy to see him back. I just realize his limitations (and Tyrone Carters).

Plus, Ryan has had an injury plagued stay with the Steelers. Last year he remained pretty healthy and only missed the Denver game due to the altitude, but he's traditionally been as brittle as Troy.

That's TWO Steelers safeties that have a history of injury. And we have Tyrone Carter as their backup.:doh::banging:

Northside Jonny
02-26-2010, 03:33 PM
I sure won't be sad to see Carter go , thats for sure.

supa_fly_steeler
02-26-2010, 03:56 PM
Then what do you measure them by?

Opponents yards recieving past them, and how much yards you give up after the catch if u let them catch it.

You guys should quit having a hard time on Clark. He had his most productive year paired behind a new starting Cornerback and a Safety he normally does not play with.

xbroughneck
02-26-2010, 04:25 PM
Opponents yards recieving past them, and how much yards you give up after the catch if u let them catch it.

You guys should quit having a hard time on Clark. He had his most productive year paired behind a new starting Cornerback and a Safety he normally does not play with.

I'm not giving him a hard time. I don't think he'll sign for 4 mill per, and the Steelers need to focus on Woodley and Santonio....who are more valuable and harder to replace IMHO than an above average FS who wants more than 4 mil per.

43Hitman
02-26-2010, 04:29 PM
.

You guys should quit having a hard time on Clark. He had his most productive year paired behind a new starting Cornerback and a Safety he normally does not play with.
I'm not having a hard time with Clark. I love the guy, and really want him back.


Opponents yards recieving past them, and how much yards you give up after the catch if u let them catch it

So your saying basically the same thing, that tackles and PD's can be a measurement of success for Safeties. That is what my question was implying to Pyscho, because he thinks that those numbers aren't measurable to overall success of a safety. And I disagree with that statement.

steelreserve
02-26-2010, 04:43 PM
Personally, I would've used the tranny tag.

I don't see this being an easy one given, that he really is paid below the going rate so far. So I'm nervous that we're not at least holding him in place beyond next week. Though I have to admit I was a lot more worried about Hampton.

Northside Jonny
02-26-2010, 04:58 PM
Personally, I would've used the tranny tag.

I don't see this being an easy one given, that he really is paid below the going rate so far. So I'm nervous that we're not at least holding him in place beyond next week. Though I have to admit I was a lot more worried about Hampton.

So your telling me you like the tranny tag? :rofl:

43Hitman
02-26-2010, 05:01 PM
So your telling me you like the tranny tag? :rofl:
I'm not even going there..:rofl:

Chidi29
02-26-2010, 05:55 PM
Like Hampton, the biggest issue for us is finding a suitable replacement if Clark walks. Unlike a lot of teams, our FS doesn't need to be a ballhawk. Someone that will play smart and can drop back in coverage while Tryo roams around. I really don't want a ballhawk at FS because we don't need two; you gotta have somebody back there so the corners aren't on islands.

While a FS like that isn't that difficult to find, we don't have many options at this point.

xbroughneck
02-27-2010, 03:19 AM
Like Hampton, the biggest issue for us is finding a suitable replacement if Clark walks. Unlike a lot of teams, our FS doesn't need to be a ballhawk. Someone that will play smart and can drop back in coverage while Tryo roams around. I really don't want a ballhawk at FS because we don't need two; you gotta have somebody back there so the corners aren't on islands.

While a FS like that isn't that difficult to find, we don't have many options at this point.


In an increasingly pass happy NFL you DON'T want a ballhawk other than Troy in our secondary? You know our corners generally don't have good hands right? You know that Troy is pretty much the only guy in our secondary that gets interceptions right?

You don't want a Free safety that's good at breaking up passes (which is what I mean by ballhawk)?:doh:

supa_fly_steeler
02-27-2010, 03:29 AM
In an increasingly pass happy NFL you DON'T want a ballhawk other than Troy in our secondary? You know our corners generally don't have good hands right? You know that Troy is pretty much the only guy in our secondary that gets interceptions right?

You don't want a Free safety that's good at breaking up passes (which is what I mean by ballhawk)?:doh:

Agreed.

We need all the ballhawking we can get.

Last year was disgraceful that Troy tied the team in interceptions.

Our Free Safety and #1 Cornerback combined for 4 interceptions.

how embarrasing.

While a FS like that isn't that difficult to find, we don't have many options at this point.

What do you mean they arn't hard to find what if they all suddenly died. If we dont have many options at this point then it could be difficult to find because there will be no good ones left by the time we realised we needed a new FS.

Galax Steeler
02-27-2010, 05:20 AM
I hope we do get Clark signed so we can go into the draft without having to have one guy or one position. We can just get BPA. I think Clark is a very good Safety and am optimistic about the Steelers getting a deal done that is beneficial to both sides.

If we sign Clark I would say we need to grab a corner that we need in a very bad way.

steelreserve
02-27-2010, 11:07 AM
If we sign Clark I would say we need to grab a corner that we need in a very bad way.

Don't forget the two guys we drafted last year. For all we know, one of them could turn out to be good enough.

Seems to me like a lot of people are panicking about the CB position and writing the entire group off basically because one guy (Gay) had a bad year.

xbroughneck
02-27-2010, 11:37 AM
Don't forget the two guys we drafted last year. For all we know, one of them could turn out to be good enough.

Seems to me like a lot of people are panicking about the CB position and writing the entire group off basically because one guy (Gay) had a bad year.

William Gay isn't my main concern.

Having to field Ty Carter and Ryan Clark at the same time is a bigger concern IMHO.

The ability of 3 of our secondary players (Lewis, Ryan Clark, Troy) to stay healthy for a full season also concerns me.

Keenan Lewis will battle William Gay for that starting spot. I'm fine with that.

I'm not fine with Tyrone Carter and Ryan Mundy being our first backups at the safety spot, and we may lose Ryan Clark.

The safety position is a much bigger concern IMHO. We gave up too many big plays last year where the SAFETY should have had over the top coverage.

Psyychoward86
02-27-2010, 12:07 PM
Check out the list of UFA safeties: http://www.nfl.com/freeagency#players-tab-set-1:players-grid-container-position/players-list-links-position:pos-s

Excluding Ryan Clark and Tyrone Carter There's 12 of them, 5 of them play FS.

Of those 5, Nick Ferguson is far too old (35) and declining rapidly. Darren Sharper is too old and too expensive. Hank Poteat just sucks, and he's old anyways. Jermaine Phillips MIGHT be off-the-field trouble, because he was accused of choking his wife a while back, and he is also a bit long in the tooth (30) and might be an injury-prone risk (He's a regular starter, but played 2 games) plus probably too slow for what we want him to do (230lb). The Bucs even used him as a linebacker in some packages.


So that leaves us with one last guy that imo, we could consider, Sean Jones of the Philadelphia Eagles. I think in the event that Ryan Clark and Tyrone Carter leave, maybe even Deshea who could play some safety for us, we might want to look at this guy. He played strong safety with the Browns, and he played free safety with the Eagles last year. I recall he played pretty good football while he was in Cleveland, especially with such a crappy surrounding cast. im not sure how he did this year, because i gotta actually see the guy play as he did as an eagle (61 tackles, a sack, 2 picks, 5 passes defensed in 9 starts).

So Sean Jones, why pick him up in the event that our 3 DB's (Clark, Carter, Townshend) leave?

1) Experienced (4 years starting experience)
2) Still young (27 years old)
3) Versatility (Played SS with the Browns, FS with the Eagles)
4) Reasonable ball skills (probably even better with Troy next to him)
5) Clean off-the-field record, and hasnt been injury prone (other than his rookie year when he landed on IR)
6) Cheap! (Eagles signed him for one year at 3mill, excluding the pay cut of 500k that he took)


Of course a lot of crap has to happen for this scenario. What do you guys think. I think out of all the free agents, he's about as close to perfect for us as we can get.

Galax Steeler
02-27-2010, 01:15 PM
Don't forget the two guys we drafted last year. For all we know, one of them could turn out to be good enough.

Seems to me like a lot of people are panicking about the CB position and writing the entire group off basically because one guy (Gay) had a bad year.

It wasn't just Gay it seemed like all of our corners were getting beat on a regular basis. I think it is time to bring in a shutdown corner.