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.