Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark has been with the team since 2006 but his contract will be up at the end of this season. This brings up the question of whether or not Clark will wrap up his career in Pittsburgh.
Clark is veteran of the game as he approaches his 34th birthday in October. Does it make sense to sign the safety to an extension when you have two young players in line to take over? Recent draft pick Shamarko Thomas and signed, undrafted free agent Robert Golden are both poised to take over at the safety positions once Troy Polamalu and Clark are no longer around.
Clark recently stated that he’d love to finish out his playing days in Pittsburgh and also said that he is currently working on his retirement plans. Clark believes that he still has a lot left in his tank and could play at a high level for several more years. As for playing for the Steelers for a few more years, that’s a big question mark.
Currently there are no talks between the two sides about a contract extension for the safety. However, the Steelers usually don’t address these issues until training camp begins. Even when that time comes, Clark may not be a top priority. Having talent such as Thomas and Golden to take over, it doesn’t look promising for Clark to get an extension.
More than likely the only way Clark gets an extension and an opportunity to finish his career as a Steeler is if he is willing to accept a minimum contract from the team with no promises of being a starter in 2014. Should Clark accept a deal like this, he has a better chance of finish his career in Pittsburgh. Clark is a talented and very smart player, he could have a huge role in mentoring the likes of Thomas and Golden if he’s kept around.
If the Steelers choose not to extend Clark’s contract, Clark didn’t seem to keen on going from team to team and possibly playing for 1-year-deals. Unless another team made him a respectable offer it wouldn’t be surprising to see Clark retire. Clark is quite pleased with the way his career has panned out thus far and wouldn’t leave the NFL disappointed in what he’s accomplished. Hopefully Clark has a big season this year and proves he deserves a contract extension.