The NY Jets have made their first great move of the offseason

Chuck Clark is back — and that's a very good thing

Chuck Clark
Chuck Clark / Jonathan Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets made sure to do a little housekeeping before the start of free agency on Monday, bringing back one of their most under-the-radar internal free agents in an excellent move to kick off the offseason.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that the Jets agreed to terms on a one-year deal to bring back veteran safety Chuck Clark. Clark missed the entire 2023 season with a torn ACL suffered during OTAs.

The likes of Clark, Jordan Whitehead, and Ashtyn Davis were all set to be free agents this offseason, leaving a pretty sizable hole at the position. Clark was the right player for the Jets to prioritize.

His absence may have gone a bit overlooked last season, given the timing of his injury, but Clark was genuinely the Jets' best safety under contract in 2023. His return is notable and welcomed.

What the Chuck Clark re-signing means for the NY Jets

The Jets originally acquired Clark in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens last March that sent a future seventh-round pick to his former team. The trade was arguably the savviest move the Jets made all offseason.

The Ravens had a logjam at safety, and Clark was entering the final year of his contract. Still, the former sixth-round pick had developed into a highly respected defensive captain and a quality starting safety.

Clark is one of the best-tackling safeties in the NFL. The Virginia Tech product has a career missed-tackle rate of just 8.3 percent and posted a missed-tackle rate of 6.6 percent in 2022. That ranked among the best at his position.

Clark has also shown remarkable durability throughout his career. He had never missed a single game due to injury prior to joining the Jets last season. The ACL injury was an anomaly, not a trend.

The Jets need reliability and consistency at the safety position, and Clark offers exactly that. He would be an immediate upgrade over Jordan Whitehead, who led all safeties in missed tackles in 2023.

The Jets might not be done adding to their safety depth chart this offseason, and it would be wise to explore bringing back Ashtyn Davis, but a Chuck Clark/Tony Adams safety duo is already a step in the right direction.

This is a wise, inexpensive-but-important re-signing by the Jets. Clark should be an important part of the team's defense in 2024.