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Packers Should Jump If Ryan Clark Is Free

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Packers Should Jump If Ryan Clark Is Free

A few months ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers indicated they had no intention of letting either Casey Hampton or Ryan Clark hit free agency which begins tomorrow at 4pm EST.

Well, the Steelers locked up Hampton, first with the franchise tag, then with an extension. But Clark, as of this writing, remains unsigned and poised to become a free agent tomorrow afternoon.

Now, we all know Ted Thompson's predilection in free agency is to wait, let the market settle, and then sift through the rubble for possible bargains. And, overall, I tend to agree with that approach. But Clark would be the rare time I would advocate jumping into the bidding early. The guy is a monster hitter who stays healthy, for the most part (unlike Atari Bigby who doesn't hit nearly as hard as his press clips make out and who can't stay healthy to save his life) and, of course, would fit Dom Capers' 'Pittsburgh West' defense like a glove.

Like I wrote a little over a month ago, my hunch is that a veteran presence across from Collins would open up the free safety to be even more of a playmaker than he already is. Not only that, but he would no doubt help solve some of the communication issues we saw come to the fore against the likes of the Vikings, Steelers and Cardinals.

Of course, as we all know, the above won't happen and the King will retain his crown... ;)

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (24) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Royd16's picture

Sorry but he's a free safety, packers need a strong safety.

packeraaron's picture

Royd - normally I'd agree, but he played alongside Polumalu, the ultimate freelancer. Plus, he's a monster hitter. The Packers interchange their safeties enough anyway that it wouldn't really matter.

RockinRodgers's picture

I second this. You will have to pay for Clark, but I don't think you would have to overpay that much.

PackersRS's picture

Plus, I have a feeling TT will be drafting a S this year. My hunch? Morgan Burnett, though I prefer Chad and Rashed Jones (or is it Reshad?).
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I'd like Clark very much, though. But hasn't he been used primarily as a FS, instead of SS? Or Capers' scheme doesn't use FS and SS, rather than left and right S?

Brett Cristino's picture

I've been thinking about this all offseason and a poster on another board just brought it up so i'll say it here. The NFL seems to be moving in a pass heavy direction and as each year passes, teams seem to be relying more and more on the pass. With that said, I think you will start to see teams get away from the traditional Atari Bigby type SS's, the in the box run defenders, and shift towards fast, athletic guys who can drop and cover deep, ala Collins.

Now Clark, he's sort of in the middle, he has enough range to not get lost in coverage and he plays the run well. He would definately be a nice fit, especially with him former position coach Darren Perry here and his familiarity with our Defense. I would expect Ted to give him an offer but not overpay because this is as deep of a Safety class that i've seen since I started breaking down the Draft. Give him an offer, if he takes it, he takes it but if not oh well. I still expect Ted to take a Safety reguardless because like I said, there's too much talent available to not take one. I not only think Ted is going to Draft one, but Draft one early.

Earl Thomas is my #2 guy for the Packers behind Bulaga, and if he's there, I think don't even think Ted would hesitate to take him. Some guys I like in the 2nd-3rd Round area are Nate Allen(South FLA), Chad Jones(LSU)- could go late 1st and I don't see him lasting until our 2nd, Morgan Burnett(Ga Tech), Larry Asante-Nebraska.

Scrumptrulescent's picture

Who would be the better purchase......Clark or Dunta Robinson?

packeraaron's picture

Scrump - good question. I think Robinson will see silly money right away while Clark will have suitors but not ones throwing the real big money his way. All that said, I doubt Thompson makes a play for either one.

PackersRS's picture

To me it's Clark by miles. Never once complained and bitched about money. Robinson is overrated. Plus, Clark has the scheme knowledge.

jerseypackfan's picture

I second that vote on drafting Larry Asante. Now that kid is hitter.

Shootz's picture

I rate Clark as a solid, down-in-the-box-type safety and the guy can put a hit on you like nobody's business, I think occasionally he falls down in pass coverage. I would have no problems at all throwing cash at him to bring him to Green Bay, however, as we need depth in the secondary and safety is too low down the list of team priorities to use a pick from the first four rounds on it.
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With that out of the way, I like the range and force Clark shows on this play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8BEdeAwnxk
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And my jaw is still rattling after watching this play in 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyNy-TkDGB0&NR=1

nypacker's picture

This draft is deep in the safety pool. Knowing Ted's MO, getting a safety in the early stages of free agency doesn't make sense.

jerseypackfan's picture

The one Clark laid on McGehee was just as nasty as the one on Welker.

bigfog's picture

Offtopic a bit Aaron, but what do you make of the Raiders tendering Kirk Morrison so low? I've heard he's not a very good MLB, but would potentially make an excellent outside 'backer in a 3-4.

packeraaron's picture

bigfog - the biggest knock on Morrison is his coverage ability. He's a big thumper in the middle, a two down backer. I don't see it.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Looks like we'll be shopping for a punter. GOOD! Don't let the door hit ya... SCRRRRRUB! http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/ic/blogs/insider/index.shtml

GBP 4 LIFE

hyperRevue's picture

""While I do admit I needed to improve and I was at fault for some of it, I won’t agree with anyone I was the lone liability. I think it’s very irresponsible to place the blame on one person. (Special teams) won’t improve if that’s the philosophy, I would hope there is a sense of accountability across the board."

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Ugh. Goodbye, dude.

packeraaron's picture

Hyper - what's wrong with Kapinos' statement? He's right.

hyperRevue's picture

Hey Aaron, What's the deal with Havner?

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/86287677.html

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Nevermind. I looked it up myself like a big boy.

hyperRevue's picture

Don Banks thinks Green Bay makes the most sense for Tomlinson. Color me skeptical.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Color me not interested. Sproles = HELL YES, LT = meh. Shit if we're gonna go with a 30 something to complement Grant, I'd rather keep Green.

From what I've seen LT is DONE (been watching him close too, on one of my fantasy keeper leagues... was anyway).

GBP 4 LIFE

packsmack's picture

hyperRevue, Don banks is an idiot.
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I officially want to sign Ryan Clark at 12:01AM after the video posted by Shootz of him DESTROYING Harvin. I'll take that ALL DAY.

hyperRevue's picture

Aaron - I know his general point is correct, I just don't like the timing/tone from a guy who was the worst punter in the league last year.

packeraaron's picture

hyper - from his point of view, that's just it: the UNIT was the worst. His numbers reflect the work of a lot of people.
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All that said, he is terrible. An upgrade is def needed.

hyperRevue's picture

That's true. Maybe I'm just sour on the guy and letting that influence my reaction. haha.

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