Former Ravens Safety Chuck Clark ‘Was Ready To Get Out Of’ Baltimore: ‘Wasn’t Being Respected’

It’s impossible for any team to “do right” by every player on their roster, in the individual’s eyes. At least it’s impossible to do so while remaining as competitive as possible. I’m sure players like Mason Rudolph and Kevin Dotson have some thoughts on how the Pittsburgh Steelers have managed the roster in the past 14 months, for example, but ultimately the team was simply looking to improve its product on the field.

Former Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark was in that same boat. The writing was on the wall the second they used their 2022 first-round draft pick on Kyle Hamilton. Clark still started all of last season, but he wanted out. He asked for a trade last year. He got it this year. And he had some things to say about it, now as a member of the New York Jets.

I was ready to get out of there”, Clark said yesterday, via Zach Rosenblatt of The Athletic, acknowledging that the drafting of Hamilton was a big part of that, but it went deeper as well. “Just the situation I was put in, things that were said to me and the position I had on the team, I felt wasn’t being respected.

“It was time for a change”.

A 2017 sixth-round draft pick, Clark emerged as a starter during the 2019 season and has started every game in which he has played since then. He has five career interceptions with 32 passes defensed, five forced fumbles, and a handful of sacks to go along with 384 tackles. A career-high 101 tackles came in 2022.

In addition to drafting Hamilton, the Ravens also used significant cap space in free agency in 2022 to bring in veteran safety Marcus Williams, a former second-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, who was one of the top players at his position to hit the open market in recent years.

With Hamilton learning and having position flexibility, the Ravens knew that they could get another year out of Clark, but you don’t sign a starter in free agency and then draft the position in the first round without the expectation that there is going to be a shift in the near future.

After entering the final year of his rookie contract, Clark signed a three-year, $15.3 million contract extension in 2020, the last year of which he is due to play under in 2022. It is unclear whether the Jets intend to sign him to an extension before the start of the season.

The Ravens traded the veteran safety to New York at the start of the new league year in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round draft pick. They obviously did not get great return for a starting-caliber safety, but they knew this was coming one way or another, and they prefer volunteers over hostages as well.

It’s clear that Clark did not feel valued by the Ravens at the level that he believed his play merited. Referencing things that he was told by the organization, as well as financial matters, he knew a change needed to be made. That doesn’t mean Baltimore did anything wrong. It’s just business.

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