Chuck Clark

Ravens S Chuck Clark Hires New Agent

Before the draft, Ravens safety Chuck Clark was 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 Humphrey and 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.

Ravens’ Chuck Clark Drawing Trade Interest

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.

Although John Harbaugh has said he plans on Clark remaining a Raven, teams reached out about trade interest. Following Baltimore’s Hamilton selection, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler notes the team received calls about Clark’s availability. Multiple teams inquired. Given an extension in February 2020, Clark is under contract for two more years — on just $2.75MM and $3.29MM base salaries.

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.

Ravens Intend To Keep Chuck Clark

After the events of this offseason, and the draft in particular, veteran Ravens safety Chuck Clark has been named as a player the team might look to move on from. Head coach John Harbaugh doesn’t see him going anywhere, however. 

When speaking to the media, Harbaugh said, “the idea is to have as many good players as you can have and have them in the right spots and the right roles. 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.”

Those comments were made in light of the fact that the team drafted safety Kyle Hamilton 14th overall. Lauded for his range and positional versatility, many felt that his addition would make Clark redundant. The latter has been a starter for the past three seasons, totalling 249 tackles, four interceptions and 25 pass deflections during that stretch. He has also worn the green dot as the player responsible for organizing the defense on the field.

Still, the overlap in skillsets between Clark and Hamilton has led to speculation that the Ravens could handle his situation in a similar fashion to those of Orlando Brown Jr. and Marquise Brown – highly regarded players whose trade requests were honored despite the team having the option of keeping them for at least one more season. The 27-year-old is under contract for two more years, with cap hits of $4.6MM and $5.2MM, though he has no guaranteed money remaining on his deal.

Assuming Clark is retained, he could still see plenty of playing time even if Hamilton starts right away. He has experience lining up in a number of positions, just as the latter does from his time at Notre Dame. The team should have opportunities to use three-safety packages (complementing free agent signee Marcus Williams) given their lack of established veterans at the inside linebacker and slot corner positions. If they do part ways, though, Baltimore would turn to the likes of Brandon Stephens, Tony Jefferson and Geno Stone to fill the safety void.

Ravens Notes: WRs, Clark, Ojabo

The Ravens were busier than expected during Round 1 of last week’s draft, making not one but two selections. To acquire the second pick, of course, they honored Marquise Brown‘s trade request. That was the largest of a number of receiver departures this offseason, leaving many surprised the team didn’t draft a wideout at any point over the weekend.

When asked about that, general manager Eric DeCosta said, “it wasn’t for a lack of effort. I think, honestly, the fact that there was a run of receivers in the first round like there was … I wouldn’t say it was a great receiver class in general, compared to some of the years… There were some receivers that we liked; we tried to take a couple guys at different points… I said this last year, but we like our receivers.” 

Baltimore’s WR room now consists of recent draftees Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace. DeCosta did say, though, that the team “will add players to the mix”, a process which will likely involve diving into the remaining free agent market.

Here are some more notes from around Charm City:

  • Regarding DeCosta’s above remark about failing to land draft targets at WR, they were apparently one pick away from selecting Calvin Austin III, according to Peter King of FMIA. As he details, Baltimore was prepared to use pick No. 139 on the Memphis speedster, but the Steelers took him at 138. While they didn’t draft a wideout, the Ravens did add a pair of tight ends in the fourth round: Charlie Kolar and Isiah Likley.
  • After the Ravens drafted safety Kyle Hamilton 14th overall, some have raised questions about Chuck Clark‘s future with the team. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that it’s “hard to see” Baltimore keeping the latter much longer, given Hamilton’s skillset and the recent trend of trading away valued players seeking new and/or larger roles.
  • Another draft pick vaunted for its relative value was that of edge rusher David Ojabo in the second round. His reason for falling out of the first round – a torn Achilles suffered at his pro day – has many expecting the Michigan product to miss his entire rookie season. However, as ESPN’s Jamison Hensley writes, the team is “optimistic that at some point this year he’ll have a chance to play”, a sentiment which Ojabo himself also shares.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/16/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

  • Placed on IR: LB Ronnie Perkins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: G Wes Martin
  • Promoted: WR Pharoh Cooper

New York Jets

Washington Football Team

Ravens Sign Chuck Clark To Extension

Chuck Clark isn’t going anywhere. On Monday, the Ravens announced the signing of a three-year extension for their safety.

Chuck is a great story about hard work, patience, preparation and passion,” Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “He waited for his chance and seized the opportunity. Chuck’s a good football player, a fine teammate and a respected leader. He’s the type of player we want on our defense for a long time. Congrats to Chuck and his family.”

Clark, 24, enjoyed a breakout season in 2019. After starting the year as a reserve, he cracked the starting lineup in Week 6 and delivered impressive performances throughout the second half of the year. All in all, he logged 68 tackles, one sack, one interception, and nine passes defensed across 16 games (12 starts).

Before the extension, Clark was set to play out the final year of his rookie deal in 2020. After the former sixth-round pick earns a modest salary for the 2020 season, he’ll see a significant step up – he’ll make $15.3MM over the course of the additional three years, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter) hears. Including the ’20 season, the Ravens have him for four years and $16MM, Schefter hears. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears that the three additional deals are actually worth $19MM with $10MM in guarantees (the $19MM figure may include incentives; it’s not yet clear whether the $10MM figure represents full guarantees at signing.)

Given Clark’s status as a starting safety, this profiles as a very team-friendly deal for the Ravens. Clark won’t turn 25 until April and the Ravens have locked him down through most of his prime years at a very reasonable rate. Meanwhile, Clark has secured his financial future with the deal in exchange for sacrificing open market upside.

With Clark in the starting lineup, the Ravens boasted the league’s best defense from Week 7 onward. They’ll look to keep the momentum going with several key secondary players signed for multiple seasons – cornerback Marcus Peters and nickel corner Tavon Young are under contract through 2022 thanks to their extensions last year.