Ravens’ Chuck Clark, Justin Houston Hoping To Remain In 2023

Baltimore’s offseason will be dominated by their contract decision with respect to quarterback Lamar Jackson, but a number of other notable players face uncertain futures as well. Two of the team’s key defenders have expressed their desire to remain with the Ravens for 2023.

One of those is safety Chuck Clark, who drew plenty of headlines last offseason with respect to his desire to stay with the team. The 27-year-old represented a logical trade candidate in the wake of Baltimore signing Marcus Williams to a big-money free agent deal and using their top draft pick on Kyle Hamilton. In the summer, he confirmed that he had in fact asked to be moved, though the Ravens held onto him throughout the campaign.

Williams essentially played on an every-snap basis when healthy, but the same was also true of Clark. That came as little surprise early on in the season, but many predicted Hamilton would gradually take over his role as (primarily) a box defender later on. Instead, the latter wound up with a 53% defensive snap share, operating as part of the team’s three-safety packages. That left Clark on the field full-time, where he totaled 101 tackles and four pass deflections.

The veteran is on the books for one more season, but he acknowledged (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, on Twitter) that there is once again “uncertainty” regarding whether or not he will continue his career in Baltimore. Clark is scheduled to carry a cap hit of just over $6.2MM in 2023, and Hamilton could presumably take on his role as a hybrid defender (if not the unit’s play-caller). Clark’s desire to remain nevertheless represents a notable departure from his stance last year.

His intention was echoed by pass rusher Justin Houston. The 34-year-old started only one contest in 2022, his second with the Ravens, and saw a rotational role on the edge. Despite his 44% snap share, Houston led the team in sacks with 9.5, demonstrating his continued ability to be a disruptive presence in the latter stages of his career. He is, to little surprise, then, eyeing a deal which allows him to play at least one more season.

“The way I feel right now – I’ll be back,” the pending free agent said, via Clifton Brown of the team’s website“We’ll see if the chips work out, and I’ll be here. That’s out of my control. We’ll see what they do. [But] I’d like to be back here.”

Much of Baltimore’s cap situation will be dictated by Jackson’s cost on either a franchise tag or a long-term deal. When they have established more financial clarity, though, the degree to which Clark’s and Houston’s desire to return is reciprocated will be a notable subplot.

View Comments (3)