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Contradictory stories surrounding Clark's visit

Over the weekend the Dolphins suffered a free agency setback when Pittsburgh free safety Ryan Clark was invited to town for a visit. Clark was offered a contract by the Dolphins and a chance to start in 2010 but he decided not to take the offer and headed back to Pittsburgh where he signed a four-year contract Tuesday with the Steelers.

Immediately, Dolphins fans cried foul, saying Clark had used their team to get a better offer from the Steelers.

Immediately, Clark's agent Joel Turner came to his client's defense claiming nothing of the sort had happened and telling The Miami Herald that, "honest to God, it wasn't about money."

Well, stuff happens, right?

Easy come, easy go, right? 

Case closed, right?

Wrong.

Seems Clark is talking about his visit to South Flordooda and his version of events throws his agent under the bus, because it apparently was about money. And his version of events also throws the Dolphins under the bus because it depicts them as team that didn't make him feel wanted.

In an interview with Denver TV station Fox 31, Clark said he came on the trip "with an open mind," but his mind closed somewhat when the Dolphins started talking numbers.

"What it came down to was the inability for us to agree on a deal. [The Dolphins] offered what they thought was fair, but in the end I didn’t agree," Clark said.

"They were definitely straight forward with me. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Bill Parcells team. I thought that I was going to be paid like a starter, but unfortunately for me, the negotiations didn’t reflect that."

So it was about money. The Dolphins' offer was not starter money in Clark's mind.

"There just comes a time in negotiations where you have to give a player reasons as to why you won’t stretch yourself financially," Clark said. "In the way that they responded to me, I could tell that they were being honest so that’s why I can’t be insulted, but I just didn’t agree."

And now the part where Clark throws the Dolphins beneath the Greyhound. He says that in his talks with the team that was supposedly recruiting him, he got the distinct feeling the Dolphins didn't really love him all that much.

"They certainly showed [Karlos] Dansby how they felt about him with what they offered him," Clark said, "but I just felt like I would have to prove myself to [Dolphins head coach] Tony Sparano all over again; and in Pittsburgh I wouldn’t have to do that.

"They told my agent, 'Look, we just don’t know this guy. After we evaluate him more out there with us, maybe we’ll feel different about it.' But I just figured, if this is how they  feel, these things aren’t going to change about me overnight."

One question: If the Dolphins were willing to tell Clark's agent that they didn't really know Clark that well, why were they willing to bring him to town and offer him a deal to begin with?

Obviously the team found itself in a situation that it had a player it liked ... but didn't love. And they actually told him as much which I supposed is honest but also kind of tactless.

Ultimately, Clark signed a four-year deal worth $14 million with the Steelers. That is a bargain rate for a good free safety.

Consider Clark will make an average of $3.5 million a year. Consider that Miami paid free agent bust Gibril Wilson more than half of what Clark will make in four years -- $8 million -- for one year's poor service.

Obviously, having heard the contradictory versions from the agent and player, I'd love to know the Dolphins' version of the story. I will call the team in the morning and request an interview with Jeff Ireland or Bill Parcells on the topic.

And then I'll sit by the phone today and wait for it to ring.

[Update 11 a.m.: The Dolphins say they saw today's blog and are passing on the opportunity to set the record straight. "There will be an opportunity to ask those questions, and others, at Coach Sparano's appearance at the AFC Coaches breakfast at the NFL annual meetings in Orlando later this month and at Jeff Ireland's pre-draft press availability which will be scheduled shortly after that," the team said.]

 

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FIRST!!! god were cheap!!!

Seems to me the team is caught between and betwixt. They need to get a guy, but they don't want to pay that guy, but they have an issue, but they know everybody that's left is probably mediocre, but they know they can't fill every need in the draft, but ...

At some point you have to make a freaking call and live with it! Isn't that the reason Parcells is making millions?

They have no choice. They have to cough up the money.. I'm guessing sharper is next? I doubt chris clemons is ready..

What the hell is the trifecta thinking. You can't sign a good starting safety for peanuts. Shell out what is needed and stop lowballing these guys. We won't end up with any decent players at this rate

Not only is clemons not ready, but we need a veteran in that secondary. Badly.

I'd love to see sharper as a dolphin. He's just old enough to school our young guys and make this secondary for real. The help he would give to clemons (and to a certain degree Davis and smith) would be invaluable.

As the nonsense turns. He said , she said.
Bla bla bla. Who cares ! You people act like this is it, Miami won't have a safety now. As for Clemons not being ready ? Who says he won't be ? U people have no freakin clue, half of u probably can't wipe your own....

Who cares now? Clark is in PIT, and not here. If we thought that highly of him, we would have spent the money. We weren't going to overpay. Simple. Pointing to past instances of overspending is stupid too, because when speaking of errors by the Trifecta, people want to quickly point to instances like signing Gibril. So you want to complain when we overpay for a player, and then in the next breath, complain because we dont shell out the money. Come on.

Well two sides to every story and like Armando said he will sit by the phone and wait (it never will) ring and we will never know...so in reality, we probaly do have to move on and forget it because we can't change it

I think you will be waiting by the phone awhile Mando!

Mel Hernandez, man I would love to agree with u on Clemons and have said it many times here and people have called me an idiot..But the fact is the Phins offered Rolle a contract and bought in Clark and offered him a contract so in reality, if Clemons were ready, they would have never done that

I think the main point is u have to pay for players these days. U know what, nobody is cheaper than the bengals. And what did they do when laverneus coles was a 7 mill year bust? They grabbed up Antonio Bryant for seven more million.

if we loved him, we would have signed him. We offered him we like him a lot money. We would have given him more if we felt he was worth it. We gave it to Dansby. Seems obvious what happened.

This administration is giving me doubts. They are half adding contracts that aren't near enought in comparison to what they sign for, because I don't think they want to do anything but build through the draft, so they are going throught the motions. Unfortunately, and this is hard for me to say, but the dolphins have sucked at drafting (parcells included) for the last five years at least.

Well I'm out have a great night

What are you all on about? Obviously Earl Thomas(best ball skills since Reed, they say...) is on their radar, and would be the perfect pick, IMO... In today's passing - first league, are you kidding me? A great safety who can move to corner and cover the slot guy on occasion? Worth his weight in gold. I'm not at all concerned about low-balling a second-tier, run stopping(primarily) safety.

This is off subject, but I believe Jermaine Grisham is going to be great, and I've said since Miami got our buts whipped by Oklahoma in Sam Bradfords freshman year that he is the next great qb in the NFL.

Mando do you feel they are happy with the WRs and think they will come to life this year? Do you think they are showing interest in FS to please the fans but believe clemmons will be fine? Don't agree just want an opinion.

Clark saw that we paid Dansby very well and figured he probably get somewhat close to what Rolle got and Wilson Had, he saw the Dolphins as a pay day in an capped year, for him to even talk about Dansby's contract just shows it.

The thing Clark said to me that is very glaring is that in Pittsburgh they know him and he won't have to prove himself...lol.

Now to me that means he is gonna get all fat cat now and be on the lazy player side.
I wouldn't doubt if Will Allen beats him out of his old spot now!
I was for this guy, but, now in hindsight, good riddance Clark.
Your not gonna be worth the coin!

We will be ok without this joker.

Yeah I have to say no big deal to me. I wasn't not to sold on Ryan clark being the answer to our prayers either. I'm glad we didn't budge and told him to take it or leave it instead of paying him what HE thinks he is worth.

How many millions of dollars do u need if I got 4 mill I'd be happy!heck if I got 1 mill a year I'd be happy

If I got 500k a year I'd be ecstatic!!

And the best part is Pitt is on the slide while Miami is on the Rise.

Clark Is only good for the occasional " Jacked Up" highlight we need a FS that is a ball hawk and can intercept the ball. I'm glad he didn't sign.

The Fins brass was upfront with Clark and didn't lie to him.

How can they truly know ANY FA or Draft pick before seeing them in a Fins jersey doing what they do?

That's why people bust out (i.e. Gibril, L. Coles and too many others to list.) It's the classic chicken or the egg comment. I guess Clark thought that they would make him feel like he was better than Ed Reed by heaping crazy $$ on him and telling him that the offer to Rolle was just a ploy to get to him?

If he was looking to get the "You don't have to worry about a thing, you're our guy bar none" speech then Pitt was really the ONLY team that could say definitely how he fit into their plans. He already played there so how could the Fins make him even more comfy... without busting huge money on him, they couldn't.

It may be best to offer Darren Sharper a contract and see if N.O. will match it. No arguing with Sharper's production last year and he does seem to be a good leader to have in a secondary.

If the Fins want to go the draft route then are quite a few options but that would be the scariest proposition. It may just have to be as there are a number of safeties that could work from several different rounds. A vet safety can drop into our laps ala QB Penny during cuts too.

Cheers,

Good point this is by far Mr. Clarks loss more than it is ours. I don't understand this "sky is falling" mentality some fans have. Our defense drastically improved even before Dansby just with the addition of Nolan.

How many millions of dollars do u need if I got 4 mill I'd be happy!heck if I got 1 mill a year I'd be happy

Posted by: Wildcat54 | March 11, 2010 at 12:56 AM


Medicare for football players is a bit@h nowadayz*lol* with the uncapped year and all...

who cares. send his butt back to pitt. let's build through the draft


Standley23.. Thats an interesting point..
didnt occur to me but its quite possible. He looked at what we paid Wilson, and said damn if they gave Wison $8 million Guaranteed they are going to really value me. I think the trifecta , might have been a little gun shy on a safety after there mistake last year. I dont think Ireland is a salesman personally. Straight shooter yes. But in FA. you almost have to be like a college recruiter.. These guys have big egos... Thats alright I think they'll fill the 2 0r 3 of there 4 holes through the draft. we will be a solid team this year..

Mando: great reporting. Nice job showing the doings of the inner sanctum of Tunaville!! Parcells father was FBI so he hides because it is what is familiar. However in hiding so much his strategy backfires and he winds up calling more attention to his secrets. I think he needs to learn to find a middle way and learn a bit from the impressions if a fine and equisitely sensitive jounslist and person like yourself. David M in Marin CA

Good call by the Tuna. Clark has toughness, no doubt about it. But we would have been getting a crushing hitman, with marginal on the ball skills. Remember, When Polumalu went down last year, Clark and that Steeler D were exposed a little. I think he would have been disapointing here.

the problem is who the hell are they gonna sign now? ton of holes on this roster.

Great point Spike,

We already have Dansby in the fold that was my #1 FA in regards to Fins benefit imho. Killer tackler and good versatilty. If someone gets nicked he can slide over in a pinch (Like our O line juggled to win the Carolina game). He has shown to be a tough guy that doesn't bow out often.

Maybe the biggest "Get" of all will be Nolan. I think that the Fins want to employ a much more aggresive style than last year. Our sacks totals were fine in 09 but I think Nolan can tweak and we can add to it. I envision being able to help the DBs out more with pressure on opposing QB's leading to less cover time and shorter throws. I believe that we will be able to get off the field more on 3rd down. We had a pretty good sack total but, we were not always able to get it when it wass crucial... I think that will change under Nolan.

If they end up blitzing more that should help Sean Smith as I think he is much better when playing WR's in front of him. I could picture Davis going after the QB some as he VERY aggresive in his tackling style.

Time shall reveal all. It cracks me up when the fans rant on and on about how they are cheap or wth are we going to do?? The Trifecta get the luxury of thinking about Fins battle plans 24/7.

Throw in some better injury luck, No 1st place schedule Ironman event and a few more stripped yellow favors flying in from the zebra's instead of going against us and it should be improvment city... Playoff are squarely in sight!

Cheers,

Proud fan your right about the ego thing and it just showed that Clark had one and we didn't cater to it with a big contract. I remember Clark saying during thus process that he wasn't booking any trips to any teams and was waiting for the right one to call. He looked at are situation and probably said they need a safety and paid Wilson 8 mil. Up front, Hmmmmm. I'm gonna get paid! Not here you won't Clark not with your limited skills. But we will pay a little more than Pitt.

i'm alot like arnold in pumping iron . did i mention i'm a like mike tyson ??

Dansby was paid serious dough because Parcells has had a very high regard for the guy. That's it. Parcells didn't respect Rolle or Clark and each offered reflected as much. It boils down to "does Bill Parcells like me?"

It boils down to are you worth it neither one of this two were.

I wish that were the case, but it seems like Parcells' idea of his type of football player is overriding. Parcells has loved Dansby for years. He's a Parcells guy. Rolle and Clark were well worth the 8mil Gibril got.

guys i'm huge . i play rugby.

That is true they are worth more than Gerbil but we need to set the bar back to where it should be. It's obvious the Gerbil wasn't worth 8mil so we can't base Rolle and Clarks contracts off of that. Both of them think they are worth more than they are. Are they better than what we currently have on our roster? Without a doubt but we can't offer them top dollar because they are the best FS on our roster.

If Wilson played like he did a few years back the 8 mill would have been worth it. But Wilson got that pay day from Oakland and Miami, and guess what? He fell off in a bad way. Can't blame the FO in taking caution when came to signing A FA in Clark, an average one at that.

I found this article and thought it appropriate as 2 of these guys are on the Fins radar in Cody and McClain. I am astounded that McClain is just now (after the Combine hub,bub) coming out and saying he had Crohms disease?? Uh, that's kind of important...you may want to let some folks in on that?

As many will tell you I have not been on the McClain bandwagon at all. I'm not buying it and he shouldn't be selling it... lol, just kidding, well not really.

The jury is WAAAAAY more out on this guy than all his accolades and voted on college stuff would lead one to believe. He feels like a Matt Roth type guy that will have mysterious things happen to him and with hold emotions, injuries etc.

Gimmie OLB/DE Brandon Graham or OLB/ILB Weatherspoon over McClain ANY day!

Here is the article:


Arenas misses Pro Day, Cody trims down further
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on March 10, 2010 2:03 PM ET
Alabama cornerback Javier Arenas helped his NFL stock with a faster-than-expected forty time at the combine (4.52), but it came with a price.

Arenas pulled his hamstring and was unable to participate in Wednesday's pro day. He will work out for scouts on March 30. Expected to be a nickel cornerback and special teams standout as a pro, Arenas could get taken as high as the second round.

Meanwhile "Mount Cody" continues to erode. NFL Network's Steve Wyche reports that defensive tackle Terrence Cody weighed in at 349 pounds, five less than he was at the combine. He was 370 pounds at the Senior Bowl. Before long, he'll be down to Wilforkian levels.

Finally, word is linebacker Rolando McClain ran a 4.74 forty. That's about what he was expected to do; McClain seems likely to get taken in the middle of the first round.

Dishpan....

As with all Boss / Employee situations... They have to like the worker or the worker has to be so damn good that the boss can't live without him.

Ahhh, such is life. It will be interesting as to how they meet the new roster spot safety challenge.

Cheers,

Spike and Standley make good points, and I agree. Just have a feeling Parcells' sense of selfrighteousness will prevent the team from improving because he wants "his guys." sometimes you gotta go with talent regardless of whether he'd let his daughter date the guy.

Rob,

Micah got down to 4.71 today at his pro day and really helped his cause.

As for McClain and his disease, I promise you any interested team already knew of this condition. We the fans and the media just found out today.

It will be interesting, and so was last years let's-see-how-we-can-lose-this-game-because-our-safety-play-is-aweful-athon

Parcells will probably bring a crap safety in like Ken Hamlin and give him $10 million per year just because he played for Parcells years ago

I agree but that talent needs to be through the roof and in my opinion these two aren't at that level.

That's exactly what I'm saying, Steve. Ken Hamlin is a "Parcells Guy." He can date Bill's daughter, too.

Hopefully Clemons is the answer

Dishpan,

6 days into free agency, you can't expect the front office to have every hole fixed. Is Antrel Rolle the best S in football? No. So why pay him so. And before you bring up Dansby, he perfectly fits what we needed, and the contract wasn't as bad as first thought. You only look at the draft and who's left in free agency. Don't discount a trade. This regime has proven adept at making good trades to help address areas of need.

Clark just got busted for talking out of his ass and mouth at the same time and chose to blame the Fins vs manning up himself.

Clark is a tremendpus hitter who often choose to make tht big hit versus ball hawking and going for the interception. I'm okay with continuing to build through the draft and not overpaying for players...

Not sure anymore Bootang, but I hope you're right. I've had faith, but it's tempered by a 2009 campaign that seemed lacking in any kind of leadership

To me Clark is a momentum changing safety with his hard hitting. But he is not a game changer like a Reed and Troy P, and even sometimes Rolle. We all know Clark does not fall into the upper crust of Safeties and so does the FO.

All the teams already knew about about mcclain and the crohn's disease. He's had it since his freshman year in high school. The media just got wind of it. He wasn't hiding anything. It didn't affect his play on his way to winning the butkus award as best LB and He never he missed a game because of it. In fact David Garrard has Crohns and it doesn't get in his way of play. Mcclain also ran a 4.71 and Solidified a Top 15-20 Status.

If the current players on our depth chart at Safety are the same going into the first preseason game, I too will be pissed. But I think that is highly unlikely. The Trifecta understands what needs fixing, and I believe they will address those areas.

Dishpan,

How would you do it if you were running the Fins?

Would you go get someone else's guys or your own?

L.T. had tons of run ins with trouble after he was a Giant but, he had Parcells sticking by him as he was one of his guys. You see the same dynamic in Ferguson. Although I have to believe that "banned substance" Ferg was on was more related to healing faster than you naturally can or speedy strength recovery.

Jerry Jones has gone through many coaches as he simply has to make certain calls which offends and distances some great ones JJ had the Cowboys on top, Parcells helped to rebuild them to prominance and now he is with the Fins. He could have bolted from here when H'Zinga left. Ross was wise to empower him with space and responsibilty.

I guess the bottomline is I don't think the Fins are looking choirboy's only but, team chemistry is paramount.

Cheers,

did i mention i'm HUGE ?

Ken hamlin was at least voted a starter in one pro bowl. Rolle was an alternate last year and I don't think clarks even made one could be wrong though.

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