Ryan Clark is entering his twelfth year in the NFL. Clark will soon turn 34 years old. It’ll be interesting to see if Clark continues to play at a high level in 2013. He is also in the last year of his contract with the Steelers.
Clark’s safety counterpart Troy Polamalu is starting to see his success in the NFL dwindle away. Polamalu is 32 years old and has faced many injures over the last few years. Although, Polamalu is signed through the 2014 season.
The Steelers are in quite a conundrum in 2014 regarding their safeties. The Steelers do not currently have any other proven safeties on their roster besides Polamalu and Clark. Yes, they did draft Shamarko Thomas, but we haven’t seen him play a down of football in the NFL.
Polamalu won the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2010. Ever since then Polamalu has been average at best on the field. Troy is a lot like a power hitter in baseball; he makes the big splash plays. Polamalu’s is not going to wow you with his coverage abilities, but he’ll make the “home run” type plays on defense. And we just have not seen many big plays from him in recent years. Polamalu only has 3 interceptions in the last two seasons.
Ryan Clark on the other hand has been one of the Steelers’ best defensive players. Clark is one of the best run-stopping safeties in the entire league. He’s notched over 70 solo tackles in two straight seasons. Clark rarely gets the credit he deserves.
I also can’t see Polamalu returning to form in 2013; and if that is true, it’s time to release Troy when season ends.
The Steelers should extend Clark now. The Steelers then can draft a safety in a high round in 2014. This very well could be Troy Polamalu’s last season in Pittsburgh.