The Niners also promoted veteran safety Tashaun Gipson to the active 53-man roster on Wednesday, September 14.
This means the safety room is set for weeks to come, right? And there’s no need to make a blockbuster trade with anyone before or on November 1, correct?
One analyst seems to think otherwise. And he lists a fierce $15.3 million defender as part of the trade block big board for Bleacher Report.
Safety Once Requested a Trade
Kristopher Knox has Chuck Clark of the Baltimore Ravens at No. 6 on B/R’s trade big board.
And he has him linked to the 49ers as a potential suitor, saying how the Niners “could also be interested.”
Knox and B/R created their top 10 list of players who have the highest chances of still being dealt away. Knox and the national outlet sound high on Clark being shipped out.
“Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark would be near the top of our list if it was based on talent alone. He’s been a reliable starter in Baltimore over the past three seasons. However, the drafting of Kyle Hamilton in the first round and the addition of Marcus Williams did prompt an offseason trade request from Clark,” Knox wrote.
Clark signed a three-year, $15,300,000 deal with the Ravens which makes him an unrestricted free agent by 2024 according to Spotrac. His base salary is set to jump to $3,285,000.
Seems as if a fence has been mended for the time being in B-More between Clark and the Ravens.
“Clark, though, eventually bought into playing for the Ravens this season. He started and played well in Week 1 against the New York Jets, finishing with nine tackles and a forced fumble,” Knox said.
Clark also wears the green dot for the Ravens defense — meaning he relays the defensive plays to the defenders in the huddle or as they line up in no-huddle situations.
Knox, however, is pumping the brakes on the Ravens and Clark collaborating long term.
“However, with Williams and Hamilton on the roster, he could still be had for a price. If he is available, expect multiple contenders to show interest,” Knox said.
And that’s where he believes the 49ers could be a fit.
“The 49ers could also be interested,” Knox said. “Starting safety Jimmie Ward will be out through at least Week 4 after going on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Tashaun Gipson was elevated from the practice squad for Week 1, but San Francisco could eye more of a long-term solution.”
Would There be Room for Clark?
The 49ers were among the few teams who pulled a last minute trade on deadline day in 2021: Acquiring Charles Omenihu from the Houston Texans.
This won’t be an easy scenario for the 49ers should they make the attempt to add Clark — regardless if it’s on deadline day or even after the season.
If anything, a move to bring Clark to the Bay Area will likely come with a Ward reason. The veteran safety and 49ers captain is an unrestricted free agent for the 2023 offseason as he’s in the final year of his three-year, $28,500,000 contract. If Ward walks, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan may opt to go the veteran route to upgrade this spot — nearly reminiscent of going after Charvarius Ward this offseason to upgrade cornerback. Gipson and Tarvarius Moore are also unrestricted free agents after this season.
However, the rise of Hufanga may have complicated things for veterans looking at the 49ers down the road. Hufanga has two seasons left on his rookie deal but if he continues this trajectory, you could be looking at him becoming eligible for a wealthy extension — as we’ve seen with Deebo Samuel recently.
The 49ers also have George Odum until 2025 after coming over via the Indianapolis Colts. Though his base salary dips to $1,125,000 in 2023 per Spotrac.
A move like this can be perceived as a depth and upgrade move. But the continued health of Ward and his future landing spot after the season holds the key to this proposed move happening.