NY Jets land starting safety Chuck Clark in a brilliant steal of a trade
The NY Jets have made a trade, and it's not for Aaron Rodgers! The Jets have reportedly traded for Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark in what can only be considered a brilliant move by Joe Douglas and company.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Jets have traded a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Ravens in exchange for a player who has been one of their starting safeties for the last four seasons.
At just 27-years-old, Clark will have a cap hit under $3 million for the Jets in 2023, and quite possibly serve as one of their starters in the secondary. Clark has missed just two games in his six-year career and has also been Baltimore's defensive signal-caller.
The former Virginia Tech standout has been asking for a trade since last offseason when the team signed Marcus Williams and drafted Kyle Hamilton. Despite this, Clark remained with the Ravens last year and went on to start all 17 games.
He finished with a Pro Football Focus grade of 66.1 that ranked 46th out of 88 qualified safeties, including a run-defense grade of 77.4 that ranked 13th. He's a true box safety, which makes me think the Jets aren't done adding to the position.
The NY Jets should still address safety after the Lamarcus Joyner trade
Clark was a highly-regarded defensive leader in Baltimore who hasn't missed a defensive snap (apart from one game in 2021) in three years. The Ravens were expected to move on from Clark this offseason because of the presence of Williams and Hamilton, which is why he comes so cheap.
Still, this feels a little like the Ravens doing a favor to their old friend Joe Douglas. Acquiring a starting safety for a future seventh-round pick is downright absurd, especially when said safety costs less than $3 million for the acquiring team.
Clark isn't a star. Jets fans shouldn't expect prime Troy Polamalu. But he is a versatile, starting-caliber safety who was a defensive leader and signal-caller for years in Baltimore. You can't argue with that, given the price tag?
Clark's addition might be bad news for Jordan Whitehead, who the Jets could release and save $7.25 million. I don't see Clark as a replacement for Lamarcus Joyner, as he's at his best when roaming around the line of scrimmage as a rover linebacker/safety hybrid.
The Jets could release Whitehead and use that money to acquire a more suitable safety partner for Clark. Either way, this is an outstanding trade for the organization.
Joe Douglas has made some incredible trades during his time with the Jets. It's still early, but this one has the potential to be in that upper echelon.