Since the Jets are not carrying Clark over to their 53-man roster, this IR move will end his season. It would have represented a long shot for the veteran safety to return this year anyway, and this transaction buries that notion. The Jets also placed receiver/returner hopeful Diontae Spencer on IR.
The Jets traded for Clark, 28, in March and were preparing to use him as a full-time player alongside Jordan Whitehead. Clark’s knee injury prompted the team to bring in yet another ex-Packer, Adrian Amos, to fill that role. Amos had received interest from the Ravens, visiting his hometown team twice. But the Jets suddenly having a clear need helped them land the eight-year starter.
Upon acquiring Clark, the Jets took on his three-year, $15.3MM Ravens contract. Only one season remained on the deal, and rather than the former Baltimore starter playing his way into a nice Jets extension, a trip to free agency coming off a severe injury may be in the cards.
Gang Green also placed Breece Hall on its active/PUP list. Unlike the reserve/PUP list, this is a training camp-only designation. Players can be removed from the active/PUP list at any point during camp. The Jets also placed Randall Cobb, C.J. Uzomah and defensive back Jarrick Bernard-Converseon the active/PUP list.
Hall suffered a torn ACL in October of last year, but the Jets have maintained the second-year running back will be ready for Week 1. A delayed start to camp will be part of the former second-rounder’s ramp-up period. New York has been connected to Dalvin Cookfor an extended stretch, with Hall’s recovery likely a factor in the team’s pursuit of the accomplished ex-Viking. The Dolphins and Patriots are also interested in Cook, though New England worked out two more affordable options — Leonard Fournette and Darrell Henderson — on Wednesday.
JUNE 22: As feared, Clark has indeed suffered a torn ACL (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). The news represents the worst-case scenario for team and player, given Clark’s sterling track record of durability (having logged a 100% snap share in each of the past three seasons) and his contract status. The Jets will need to rely heavily on Amos and their other safety options in 2023, a season in which expectations are high for their defense in particular and the team in general.
JUNE 13: The Jets’ Adrian Amos acquisition makes a bit more sense now. Chuck Clark suffered a knee injury, one Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic reports is feared to be serious (Twitter link).
Clark plans to seek a second opinion, per SNY’s Connor Hughes adds (via Twitter), but this is obviously a concerning situation. The team was not in on Amos until recently, with the Ravens leading the way for a while. Although Amos made a second Ravens visit Monday, the Jets came in with a stronger offer. That proposal may soon lead to a starting opportunity.
The Jets are concerned this is a season-nullifying injury, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson reports (on Twitter), noting ACL damage is feared. An ACL tear would almost definitely knock out Clark, 28, for the season, though it is not known if a tear has occurred. This would represent brutal timing for Clark, who remains attached to the three-year, $15.1MM the Ravens gave him in 2020. That contract expires after the 2023 season. Missing the year would crush Clark’s chances of creating a nice market in 2024.
The chance to start in New York sold Amos over a deal with his hometown team, per Rosenblatt. Amos has worked as a starter throughout his eight-year career. He profiles as a quality replacement option, especially in June, but Clark was expected to play a big role for the Jets.
A former sixth-round pick, Clark worked as a primary Ravens starter over the past four seasons. Teaming with a host of big safety additions (Williams, Hamilton, Earl Thomas, Tony Jefferson, Eric Weddle) during his six-year Baltimore career, Clark had been ticketed for a full-time Jets role. The Virginia Tech product voiced frustration about his final stretch in Baltimore but may not begin his Jets tenure on time.
This injury leading to missed time would be a first for Clark, who has missed all of one game during his six-year career. The Ravens used extensive three-safety looks during Clark’s time, and he helped the team as Williams missed much of last season. Clark topped 100 tackles for the first time as a pro last year, totaling 101.
Amos’ arrival offers the Jets some protection. The team rosters Jordan Whitehead, a former Buccaneers Super Bowl starter who started all games for Robert Saleh‘s team last season, in place as its other first-string safety. In Amos, the Jets have a player who started four seasons with the Bears and the past four with the Packers. The 30-year-old defender has made 122 career starts; he has not missed a game since the 2017 season.
Things changed significantly for the Ravens at the safety position during the 2022 offseason. One of the results of their moves made on the backend was veteran Chuck Clarkbeing traded at the start of the 2023 league year.
Clark, a 2017 sixth-round pick, established himself as a full-time starter midway through the 2019 season, and held onto a first-team role from that point on. His consistent production had him in line for a new Ravens extension heading into the 2022 offseason, but circumstances turned against him quickly. Baltimore signed Marcus Williamsin free agency on a five-year, $70MM contract, marking their latest big-money investment at the free safety spot.
More significantly with respect to Clark’s status, the Ravens followed up the Williams deal by selecting Kyle Hamiltonin the first round of the draft. That move seemed to leave Clark on the outside looking in beyond the 2022 season, and he requested a trade shortly thereafter. Baltimore, as expected, ultimately moved on this March by dealing him to the Jets in a swap which yielded $3.64MM in cap savings.
When speaking about the trade earlier this week, the 28-year-old indicated that he felt “disrespected” by the Ravens given the way his time with the team came to an end. Clark has one year remaining on his current contract, but he was under the impression that a Ravens extension was a distinct possibility in 2022, as noted by Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (subscription required). Zrebiec adds, notably, that the team was “open to the idea” as well, before their safety additions made Clark expendable.
The latter – who eclipsed the 100-tackle mark for the first time in his career last year – could have a much clearer path to a starting spot in his new home than he would have had in Baltimore in 2023. The Ravens have Williams and Hamilton in place for the foreseeable future, while Clark could partner with Jordan Whiteheadin New York ahead of hitting the open market in 2024. With a cap hit of $4.14MM, Clark could prove to be a cost-effective contributor for the Jets as he and the Ravens go their separate ways.
Baltimore did utilize three-safety packages to a notable extent in 2022, as they looked to integrate Hamilton slowly before what should be a dramatic uptick in usage this year. Continuing those alignments may have left the door open to retaining – or even extending – Clark beyond his current deal, but both parties appear to be well-positioned moving forward. How Clark fares in New York, and the degree to which he is replaced in Baltimore, will be worth monitoring in 2023.
As the Jets remain connected to a potential Aaron Rodgers blockbuster, the team is making another trade. The Jets are acquiring safety Chuck Clark from the Ravens, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The Ravens will collect a 2024 seventh-round pick for Clark, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Clark had loomed as a Baltimore departure candidate since the first-round selection of Kyle Hamilton last year, and he will have a fresh start in New York. The trade cannot become official until Wednesday, when the 2023 league year begins.
Trade buzz followed Clark immediately after the Ravens drafted Hamilton, as that move came not long after Marcus Williams‘ $14MM-per-year Baltimore pact. The Ravens will move forward with a Williams-Hamilton safety tandem, while the Jets will add a veteran starter for low-end trade compensation. The deal will save the Ravens $3.64MM in cap space; the team, which now has a $32.4MM Lamar Jackson franchise tag on the books, remains more than $8MM over the cap.
Clark said in January he wanted to stay with the Ravens, but he did request a trade during the 2022 offseason. The 27-year-old defender has been a primary Ravens starter for the past four seasons, remaining with the team as it cycled through veteran safeties alongside him. A 2017 Ravens draft choice, Clark arrived in Maryland after current Jets GM Joe Douglas had left the organization. But after talks with former coworker Eric DeCosta produced a deal, the ex-Ravens exec will have an experienced safety on his roster at a low rate. Clark is due just $2.5MM in base salary; his contract runs through the 2023 season.
A sixth-round pick, Clark worked his way up to starter status and stuck around in that role as the likes of Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, Earl Thomas, Williams and Hamilton came through town. Clark has made 63 career starts. The Ravens used all three of their safeties frequently in 2022, though a Williams injury prevented the team from doing so for a chunk of the season. Clark finished the year with a career-high 101 tackles, along with a forced fumble.
The Ravens used Clark in a variety of roles, lining him up in the slot on 128 snaps last season (h/t ESPN’s Field Yates) while using him sporadically as a boundary cornerback and an edge defender. Pro Football Focus rated the Virginia Tech product as a middle-of-the-pack safety (46th overall) but viewed him as one of the best run-support players at the position.
Jordan Whitehead remains under contract with the Jets, but 2022 starter Lamarcus Joyner is set to hit free agency next week. Clark’s arrival could point Joyner out of town. As for the Ravens, they are covered at safety. PFF rated Hamilton as the top safety in the league last season. Williams is under contract through 2026, while Hamilton can be kept on his rookie deal through that point due to the fifth-year option.
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 Williamsto 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.
Here’s a roundup of a few recent contract restructures:
Michael Brockers, DT (Lions): Detroit converted $4MM of Brockers’ 2022 base salary into a signing bonus, which opened up $2MM of cap room, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Brockers signed a three-year, $24MM deal with the Lions in March 2021, and he appeared in 16 games (all starts) in his first year in the Motor City. However, he recorded just one sack and earned an abysmal 40.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
Harrison Butker, K (Chiefs): Butker injured his ankle in Kansas City’s Week 1 win over the Cardinals and missed the club’s Week 2 victory over the Chargers as a result. According to Yates, Butker agreed to convert $2.19MM of his 2022 base salary into a signing bonus, thereby giving KC an additional $1.46MM of cap room (Twitter link). Butker is signed through 2024 and is the league’s 10th-highest-paid kicker by measure of AAV.
Chuck Clark, S (Ravens): There are no specifics on this one, though Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that Baltimore gave Clark a bit of a raise this year and also added some incentives to his deal. The Ravens doled out a big-ticket free agent contract to safety Marcus Williams in March and selected Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton in the first round of the draft, and Clark subsequently requested a trade. However, it eventually became clear that Clark would continue to play a prominent role on the defense in 2022, and in the team’s Week 1 victory over the Jets, the Virginia Tech product played in all 84 defensive snaps and tallied eight tackles and a forced fumble while continuing to wear the green dot. He is under club control through 2023 and was slated to earn $1.25MM in base pay this year. Per Zrebiec, this transaction represents a show of appreciation for how Clark handled himself this offseason.
Desmond King, DB (Texans): The Texans have converted $911K of King’s 2022 salary into a signing bonus, thereby creating $455K of cap space (Twitter link via Yates). King re-signed with Houston this offseason after appearing in 16 games (12 starts) for the club in 2021 and posting 93 tackles to go along with three interceptions. His two-year contract is worth $7MM.
Chuck Clark has been mentioned as a trade candidate throughout the offseason, and it sounds like the veteran safety would welcome a move. Following an offseason that saw Baltimore make two major commitments at safety, Clark acknowledged that he asked the organization for a trade following the NFL Draft in April.
“Me personally, I just felt the situation that I was in, how things were going, of course, yeah I did ask, ‘Can I get out of here?'” Clark said (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “And so, I felt like that didn’t happen and I wasn’t just going to give away my spot. If I’m not going to be a starter, it’s going to have to be taken from me.”
The Ravens signed Marcus Williams to a five-year, $70MM deal, and they selected safety Kyle Hamilton with the 14th-overall pick in the draft. Naturally, Clark thought he was at risk of losing his starting spot, and it sounds like that was the motivation for making his trade request.
The 27-year-old has spent his entire career in Baltimore, and he’s made 44 starts for the team over the past three years. That includes a 2021 campaign where Clark started 16 games while compiling 80 tackles, 12 passes defended, and a pair of interceptions.Pro Football Focus ended up ranking him 41st among 92 qualifying safeties.
Despite the request, Clark still attended offseason workouts and has been a full participant throughout training camp and the preseason. Plus, since the Ravens have the luxury of bringing Hamilton along slowly thanks to their depth, it sounds like Clark could remain a starter for at least another season.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen moving forward, but I think that what you all have seen so far is how everyone has been in place,” Clark said. “There was definitely a time I didn’t know what was going to happen, honestly. And whatever was to come with that was going to come. At one point I did feel that way, but now that I’m out here with my team, man, I’m just like … I’m here, I’m locked in. They’re going to get what I got for right now. So, whatever comes in the future, that’s what’s going to come.”
Clark still has two years remaining on the three-year, $16MM extension he signed in 2020.
Chuck Clarkwas an unheralded addition to the Ravens when he was drafted in 2016, spending the early part of his NFL career primarily on special teams. His play since becoming a starter, however, has demonstrated his value to the Ravens and the rest of the league.
A sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, Clark took over a starting safety spot midway through the 2019 season when Tony Jeffersonwas injured. He has been an every-down player ever since, teaming with Eric Weddle, then DeShon Elliott, at the backend of the team’s secondary. He has emerged as not only a statistical contributor, but also a valued leader during recent years.
In two full seasons as a starter, Clark hasn’t put up the kind of production a number of high-profile safeties have, but he has nevertheless been a steady presence. He has totalled 176 tackles, three interceptions and 16 pass deflections since 2021, while occupying an important role outside of statistical production. As the player wearing the green dot for communication, Clark has operated as, in essence, the ‘defensive QB’ since he assumed a starting role.
Expectations were raised for his effectiveness in 2022 and beyond when the Ravens signed Marcus Williamsin free agency. As a more natural ‘centerfielder’ type of free safety, Williams represented an Elliott replacement who would allow Clark to operate closer to the line of scrimmage, which his athletic profile is better suited to. It wasn’t until the team draftedKyle Hamiltonin the first round of the draft that Clark emerged on the trade radar.
The Notre Dame alum has a largely congruent skillset to Clark’s, which led to multiple teams making trade inquiries after the draft regarding Clark’s availability. Using Hamilton on an every-down basis could cut significantly into Clark’s playing time, and complicate his ability to continue serving as the defensive signal-caller. The team has regularly used three-safety packages in recent years, though, providing a backdrop for the pushback to trade speculation the team provided.
Head coach John Harbaugh commented on the situation in May, saying “I love the fact that we have very versatile players in the backend and at safety. So, to me, Chuck is a big part of this team, and I’m planning on Chuck being here.”
Things took another turn one month later, when Clark hired a new agent. It was reported at that time that, throughout OTAs and minicamp, he had made no public indication of requesting a trade. The Ravens have pulled off unexpected moves before, though, including the Marquise Browntrade this year. A swap sending Clark to a team which could play him as an undisputed starter has remained a possibility throughout the offseason, in part due to Baltimore’s financial situation.
The Ravens currently rank 31st in the league in cap space, so the relatively small savings a Clark trade would generate ($2.75MM) could nevertheless be significant. He has two years remaining on his contract, with affordable cap charges of $4.6MM and $5.2MM, along with even lower salaries. That could widen the pool of teams still interested in adding him.
Clark could be a useful fit in almost any system, given his ‘jack-of-all-trade’ profile. Teams currently set to start inexperienced safeties include the 49ers, who lost Jaquiski Tarttin free agency, and the Colts, who sawKhari Willisretire recently. If either squad wanted to add a quality veteran to insulate Talanoa Hufangaor Nick Cross, respectively, Clark could be the best available option. Especially after the 49ers part with Jimmy Garoppolo, both teams will easily be able to afford him.
Of course, the possibility still remains that the Ravens could hold onto Clark for at least the 2022 campaign, as Hamilton acclimates to the NFL. It wouldn’t come as a complete surprise, though, if he were to suit up for a new team by the start of the regular season.
Before the draft, Ravens safety Chuck Clarkwas in line to continue with the starting role he has held for the past three years. As a result, there was little reason to suspect he would be as involved in trade talk as he has been recently.
That all changed after the first round, however, when the Ravens selected Kyle Hamilton, not only the top safety prospect but one of the highest-rated members of the draft class as a whole. Given the newfound depth at the position, Clark was quickly named as a potential trade candidate.
While head coach John Harbaugh publicly stated the team’s intentions of keeping him, the 27-year-old was reported days later to nevertheless be drawing trade interest from multiple teams. The presence of not only Hamilton, but also top free agent signing Marcus Williams, would threaten to eat into Clark’s playing time significantly.
The most recent update on the matter came when Clark hired a new agent, as noted by Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic (subscription required). He is now represented by Joel Segal, whose client list also includes Ravens defensive backs Marlon Humphreyand Tony Jefferson. Zrebiec points out that Clark “has done nothing… to fuel the speculation that he wants out of Baltimore,” maintaining the leadership qualities he has become known for as the defense’s signal-caller.
On the other hand, Zrebiec also makes it clear that a parting of ways between the two sides remains a possibility. A trade could provide an acquiring team with a cost-controlled, consistent contributor; Clark is under contract for two more seasons and has totaled 249 tackles and five interceptions over the past three years. From Baltimore’s perspective, a swap would create $2.75MM in cap space — an amount made more significant when considering the team is currently near the bottom of the league in financial wiggle room.
Regardless of what happens next in this situation, this will remain a story worth watching into the summer.
The Ravens used their top draft choice on Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, doing so a few weeks after signing Marcus Williams to a big-ticket free agent deal. That has invited speculation on Chuck Clark‘s status.
Clark’s experience and low-cost contract would make him an attractive trade piece, and Fowler adds the veteran starter would be open to a move. The sixth-year veteran has not requested a trade but obviously would prefer to remain a regular contributor. The arrivals of Williams and Hamilton stand to cut into Clark’s playing time, even if the Ravens intend to deploy more three-safety looks.
A former sixth-round pick, Clark moved into the Ravens’ starting lineup full-time in 2019. The Virginia Tech alum is going into his age-27 season. During Clark’s time in Baltimore, the team has devoted significant resources to the safety spot. Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson and Earl Thomas played on higher-end free agency accords in recent years, but the Ravens’ recent commitment to the position sets this offseason apart.