A few weeks ago, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark served as an intern at ESPN, as he wants to pursue work in the media when his playing days over. Being as 2013 is the final year of Clark\’s current contract, it\’s easy to speculate that those days could be coming soon, but the veteran suggested otherwise in a Friday report by Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider.
Wexell reports that while bantering with Clark about his potential upcoming media career during the third and final practice of the Steelers first OTA session of the 2013 season on Thursday, that Clark told him he still loves the game and that his agent is currently trying to work out an extension with the team.
Clark, who is entering his 12th year in the league, will turn 34 years-old in October and that is an age that is general not conducive to getting an extension from the Steelers. Clark is, however, not showing any signs of slowing down, and he even set a career high in tackles (102) in 2012 and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl, albeit as an alternate, as a result of his solid season.
The Steelers started to make their move to youth at the safety position last year with the addition of undrafted free safety Robert Golden and continued that movement last month in the draft with the selection of Syracuse strong safety Shamarko Thomas in the fourth round. That all being said, safety Troy Polamalu, Clark\’s counterpart in the secondary and best friend off of the field, is still under contract through the 2014 season, so it\’s easy to see why Clark might at least want to play that long.
Keep in mind that the Steelers will face tough decisions next off-season with a few other of their veteran players such as cornerback Ike Taylor and linebacker Larry Foote due to their ages and 2014 salary cap constraints, so if Clark does wind up getting an extension between now and the start of the season, it won\’t be a long or lucrative one.
As I posted during the week that Clark interned, I thought he represented himself well in his numerous appearances, and I feel like he will be a natural fit as an analyst when that day comes. As far as an extension with the Steelers goes, I could see that going either way right now, so we\’ll just have to wait and see if it eventually comes to fruition later in the summer.