At some point someone is going to pick up Ryan Clark, filtering his way through free agency after eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Washington Redskins were the first team interested, but money demands might steer him towards signing with the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers, looking to replace Mike Mitchell who signed with the Steelers last week, are the only team other than the Redskins that have been linked to rumors regarding Clark, who’ll be turning 35 midway through next season. He’s been in the NFL for 12 seasons, beginning with the New York Giants, before going to the Redskins and then the Steelers, going to two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh and making the Pro Bowl in 2011.
It seemed Clark wasn’t too far away from reaching an agreement with the Redskins over the weekend, but it seems that there’s a big difference in terms of the money he expects to make and what they’re willing to pay him. Clark, who felt underpaid and disrespected by the Redskins in the past had this to tweet after the meeting with the team:
Redskins fans only following me if I’m going to be a Redskin can unfollow me for now! Still treating me the way they always have. Never know.
Clark backpeddaled a bit from his statement, realizing that he might not be the hottest potato out there, but for now, it seems that there’s a better chance he signs with the Panthers than with the Redskins. Loweing his money demands will help him find a few more suitors as well, or simply have to wait until after the draft for some team to pick him up.
Clark has been in the NFL since 2002, missing only four games over the last six seasons, making his health a non-issue. He has a total of 15 interceptions and 3.5 sacks throughout his career, including two interceptions in each of the last two seasons.