Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports posted posted Wednesday on Twitter that he wouldn\’t be surprised at all if the Pittsburgh Steelers extended the contract of safety Ryan Clark prior to the start of the regular season.
General manager Kevin Colbert said just last week that while the team wasn\’t currently negotiating any contract extensions at that very moment, they could start the process with a few players over the course of the next few weeks like they have in the past.
Clark, who will turn 34 in October, is entering the final year of his contract and is scheduled to count $4.75 million against the salary cap this year. He talked all offseason about his wish to stay in Pittsburgh beyond this year and how his agent is working on trying to get an extension done.
At 34, however, the Steelers might not be as willing to extend him as La Canfora thinks. The only real reason to do so would be because the team really wants to lower his cap number some this year. Being as they can\’t afford to stack a lot of veteran extension money onto their current 2014 cap situation, Clark would have to agree to an inexpensive deal with very little new guaranteed money included.
Clark worked this offseason as a guest analyst on both the NFL Network and ESPN in order to have himself ready for life after football, so I just can\’t see him taking a cheap deal at this point. Maybe I\’m wrong.
The Steelers, in my opinion, should take a wait-and-see approach as far as Clark\’s future goes as they have two young safeties now on the roster that both figure to be starters in the very near future. Should Clark play well in 2013, they will have to take their chances at trying to re-sign him to a one-year qualified contract for the minimum next offseason if they decide they need his services for another year.
I have suggested all offseason that this really could wind up going either way and it appears as though La Canfora is speculating more than anything right now. The Steelers prefer not to negotiate contracts once the regular season begins, so if an extension is going to get done with Clark, it would likely happen pretty soon. We shall wait and see.