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  1. #1
    75Steeler's Avatar
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    Steelers focus on Clark

    Steelers move focus to safety Clark
    Hampton agrees to deal; Franchise tag placed on Reed
    Friday, February 26, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Lake Fong/Post-GazetteSteelers safety Ryan Clark is scheduled to become a free agent in one week.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."



    Read more: http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com...#ixzz0gf6XDDwi

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    Starter cmerrifield's Avatar
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    Clark is not one of the best safeties in the league, I am not sure he is even the best in this class of free agents. I hope the Steelers dont over pay for him. I think Clark is decent especially with Troy, but he is not amazing without Troy as we saw this last season.

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    steelersbabex25's Avatar
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    So happy this is happening. I love Ryan Clark. I think he's a hard hitting safety and he's a good guy. I would be very happy if they keep him.

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    Head Coach LatrobePA's Avatar
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    Sorry, but Clark is an OK player at best! We wouln't miss a beat with out him...
    "Happy Happy Happy"

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    Starter SnakeEyes43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LatrobePA View Post
    Sorry, but Clark is an OK player at best! We wouln't miss a beat with out him...
    EXACTLY, he is no where near the best FS "in the business". Without Troy back there cutting the field into fourths for our DBs, they looked lost. I wouldn't be to upset if they cut him. He needs to do less head-hunting and focus on better coverage anyway, imho.
    Bleeding Black and Gold since 86'

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    @CoachZach_ Zachintosh66's Avatar
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    Ryan Clark is barely average. Yes, he can hit but the rest of his game is suspect. Personally I think he gets hung out to dry a lot b/c they let Troy do whatever he wants. Gay is a realistic #4 CB who is starting and Ike seems to disappear at times.

    Although our depth at the position is horrible, Carter shouldn't even have a uni on and Mundy is a scrub. That being said we almost HAVE TO sign Clark.

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    Waterboy Hova8551's Avatar
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    Clark is definitely a better than average safety. You cant do to much when you have Carter next to you. If you Polamalu and Clark are health they are a beast tandem.

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    Waterboy Steeler Vet's Avatar
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    Im pretty sure the Steelers know what there doing they one a Superbowl with him in the safty position right.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum


  9. #9
    Starter cmerrifield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler Vet View Post
    Im pretty sure the Steelers know what there doing they one a Superbowl with him in the safty position right.
    I am not saying he is horrible or that they should not resign him, others might be but I am not, I am just saying he and his agent think he is one of the best safeties in the league and that is just not true. He shouldnt be paid top dollar because he is not worth top dollar.

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    Head Coach LatrobePA's Avatar
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    Boy they sure looked like a SB winning team in 09'!
    Last edited by LatrobePA; 02-26-2010 at 08:50 PM.
    "Happy Happy Happy"

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