Jets Re-Sign Injured Starter Ahead of Free Agency: Report

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacting in the middle of an NFL game.

The New York Jets have made a key re-signing ahead of free agency.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter shared on March, 10 that the green and white “are bringing back” veteran safety Chuck Clark on a one-year deal. He missed the entirety of last season after suffering a torn ACL during OTAs.

Clark Being Retained Is a Low Risk vs. High Reward Type of Move for Jets

Ahead of free agency in 2023, the Jets traded with the Baltimore Ravens. New York sent a 2024 seventh-round draft choice in exchange for Clark.

Clark was expected to be a key piece on the backend of the defense.

Before coming to New York, Clark was in the middle of a historic iron man streak having played “1,248 consecutive snaps dating back to Week 16 of 2021.”

On top of his durability, Clark also brought with him versatility from his Ravens days. He has registered snaps at linebacker, free safety, strong safety, and even some nickel.

Clark, 28, spent the first six years of his career with the Ravens. During that period he registered five interceptions, 32 pass deflections, and over 384 total tackles.

This is a low-risk move for the Jets. If he isn’t the same player he was prior to the torn ACL you only signed him to a one-year deal. If he is the same player, then the Jets got an impressive veteran and team captain for a bargain.

Jets Still Need to Make Another Move or Two at the Safety Position

The Clark move was a solid one by general manager Joe Douglas, but that doesn’t solve the safety position entirely for the green and white.

Tony Adams is the only other legitimate piece on the Jets roster at safety. He is expected to fill one of the starting roles. Clark is coming off of a torn ACL so it’s hard to put in pen that he is for sure going to be starting at the other safety position.

New York could choose to bring back one or both of Jordan Whitehead and Ashtyn Davis who are set to hit free agency. The other alternative is bringing in another veteran on the open market.

That position is overflowing with talent in free agency thanks to several surprising cap casualties across the league.

That list includes names like Justin Simmons, Kevin Byard, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Jamal Adams, and Eddie Jackson. Perhaps New York could convince one of them to join the team on a one-year deal to chase a ring.

If the Jets want to save their resources for the offensive side of the ball they could always attack this position in the 2024 NFL draft.

Gang Green could grab a talented defensive back on the third day of the draft and plug him in as the third safety. There would be less pressure in that role and they could take this season to learn from the Adams-Clark pairing.

In 2025 that rookie could be ready to take the torch from Clark and insert himself into the starting lineup for the Jets.

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