Jets Trade for $15 Million Veteran Starter Ahead of Free Agency

Chuck Clark, Ravens

Getty Former Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark watching on the sideline during an NFL game.

The New York Jets have acquired a brand new piece to its defense.

Adam Schefter of ESPN shared on Thursday, March 9 that the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to send safety Chuck Clark to Gang Green.

In exchange, the Jets will send a 2024 seventh-round draft choice to the Ravens. However, that deal won’t be officially processed until the new league year begins on Wednesday, March 15.

Chuck Clark Presents New Starter for Jets Defense

The 27-year-old who will turn 28 before the start of the 2023 season will now join this elite Jets secondary.

He is heading into the last year of a three-year $15 million contract he signed back in 2020.

Rich Cimini of ESPN says Clark is due a $1.6 million roster bonus which means his cap charge will be $4.1 million. He referenced it as a “cap-friendly” figure.

The former Virginia Tech product has been incredibly durable since entering the league back in 2017 as the No. 186 overall pick in the sixth round.

Clark has appeared in 96 out of 98 possible games. He became a full-time starter in 2019 for the Ravens.

However, Clark got buried on the depth chart last offseason when Baltimore selected Kyle Hamilton as a first-rounder and signed Marcus Williams to a $70 million contract.

With the Jets, there will be no such issues. Throughout the 2022 season, Gang Green had a variety of issues at the safety position.

Clark should plug right in as a starter for the Jets on the back end of its defense.

Chuck Clark Set to Replace Lamarcus Joyner on Jets

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic said matter-of-factly that Clark will now replace Lamarcus Joyner in the starting lineup.

Joyner is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and Rosenblatt has said in the past that it was “unlikely” that he would return to the team in 2023.

The other starter at safety is currently penciled in as Jordan Whitehead. However, he has been deemed a potential cap casualty depending on what transpires this offseason.

While Rosenblatt said Clark could replace Joyner in the lineup, there is a chance he could actually replace Whitehead.

Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor broke down some of the alignment percentages on Twitter and said he is a “versatile overall” player but leans more toward a strong safety type as opposed to a deep safety.

Nania also compared the percentages straight up of Whitehead and Joyner last year to provide some perspective on the potential debate.

The free agency class is pretty rich at safety so if the Jets want to get froggy there are some names available.

Clark is just a super smart option. General manager Joe Douglas spent 20 years with the Ravens to start his NFL career and still has a great relationship with that organization.

Clark was no longer a key piece in Baltimore and by simply changing locations he will immediately become a core piece for the Jets.

In six NFL seasons, Clark has five interceptions, over 384 tackles, 32 pass deflections, 3.5 sacks, and five forced fumbles.

While he has never been a Pro Bowl-level player, Clark brings an incredibly high floor which is something this team will fully embrace.

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