Extend Clark, send Polamalu packing after the season is over

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.puhala John Puhala

    Even at 75% Polamalu is still one of the elite safeties of the past 10 years. Clark stepped last season because Polamalu wasn’t on the field ..he actually took Troy’s place….also guiys have had a season or two under par and have regained their form…Don’t be surprised that Troy comes back better than the last two seasons have shown.

  • http://twitter.com/planetsteelers John Hansler (@planetsteelers)

    I couldn’t disagree more. Clark is 34 and at the end of his contract. He’s done as a Steeler after this season. Great person and great Steeler but it’s time to move on. Robert Golden will likely replace him. The question remains, if Clark goes, does Polamalu retire?

  • mwormack

    I think you have to wait to see how both play this year, I don’t think it is ever a good idea to start talking about releasing a guy a year before you do it, if you have plans to do it why wait? From what I have seen if I had to pick between the two now, I would take Clark he has been one of the most consistent players on Defense he hits and he actually plays in most games. Troy can play but the spends too much time in the tub. Nothing against Troy I know he has the heart of a lion but father time seems like he has Troy ready to tap out.