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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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I bring up the Pennington and Ferguson signings again. They were brought in much more for what they bring to the locker room than what they will on the field.

I do a decent job in Madden, but that's probably only because it's a video game :) Times are changing, might have to hire a talented weed-dealer or two

what ever, clark is not all that of a good safety. And yes he bluffed the visit so that the steelers will sign him again!! he came to miami with no intentions to sign. I dont fault the dolphins for not giving him a big contract. besides who is Ryan Clark???? my neighbor is a die hard steelers fan and he does not know who is Ryan Clark. Gabril wilson was a bust, and you are not going to fool the tuna twice.

A diehard steelers fan doesn't know his starting safety?

I was also the featherweight boxing champ of the world.

Rz if your neighbor does not know who Ryan Clark is he is not even close to being a die hard steelers fan. However I do fight the same fight.

did i mention i'm huge

Yea its sad how my neighbor "the steelers fan" never herd of clark. Yet clark has the ordacity to sit there and expect a fat contract.

Who filled in for Troy P? Ike Taylor or Ryan Clark?

It does not matter who filled in for who!!! troy p, is troy p. hell i can feel in for troy p. and get my ass bombed all year like clark did. However you get bombed all year and you come to miami and expect a fat contract like clark did please!!!!!! clark is only known for laying that lick on welker.

What is frustrating to me is the can't-win-for-losing aspect to this situation. One the one, I hear how "cheap" we are, and how we're not willing to pay top dollar. BUT...I have also seen multiple articles stating how STUPID we are for "bidding against ourselves" and "overpaying" Dansby. What is it? Are we cheap...or too easy with our money?

It can't be both.

Didn't Ike Taylor put the hit on P. White? Brutal.

Bootang,

Probably on the info side...the teams spend millions to poke and prod these players. If your goal is to boost up your stock (even if for only the media's sake) why would you spring the suprise at a Pro day? He could of claimed food poisoning and would have been better off in the media's eyes in my opinion? If you are going with the "teams already knew" theory.

Fact: McClain told NFLN's Charles Davis "There is nothing wrong with me, we just decided not to work out." on the field at the combine... then less then 10 minutes later his agent texts Mayock "My client has been battling hammy issues". WTH??? Have a gameplan at least...he didn't even tell teams we wasn't working out before the combine? So all he did was bench and it was an underwhelming 24 reps... whip skip..at 258lbs??? Really? Not hard to see why damn near half of ALL his tackles in college were assists... Hmmmmmm.

At his Pro Day runs a 4.74 and can't finish drills? Nope...not a red flag anywhere to be found... Pay him zillions!

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and I get the whole slobber all over McClain because he's a big guy from a big school. Hey sounds like a bright enough guy but I am telling you Bootang... Every instinct I have says this guy will end up not being the goods.

This is not an attack on you at all. If you like him... more power to ya.

Cheers,

I was just trying to figure out the actual staters at safety in Pitt Taylor or Clark! Chill out

Matthew,

2nd highest payroll of ANY NFL team (behind NYG).

You be the judge...

Cheers,

rz,

Clark had a great collision with McGahee too!

Also... hopefully your neighbor doesn't ask you who your starting FS is? LOL

Just a lil pre-filled-out-roster humor bud =)

Cheers,

Standley... Just Google it bud... but don't ever tell anyone in here, especially NJ PHIN, you did. ;)

Cheers,

Maybe the Phins brass is just being patient. See how the draft unfolds, find out if Clemons can play, then make a move. Going out and signing the bigest name out of panic usually ends up poorly.

The whole thing seemed odd, but Bill hates me guys.

It's not like signing or not signing Ryan Clark was gonna make or break the Dolphins' off-season success. Clark is a solid free safety, but he is 30 years old, and I'm sure the Dolphins didn't want to overpay him like they did with Gibril Wilson. The draft takes on even more importance now for the Fins, though. I doubt Eric Berry will be available at no. 12 and I don't think the Fins will spend their first-round pick on Earl Thomas because they'd rather use it on an OLB, their #1 priority it seems. My dream scenario would be for the Dolphins to draft Jason Pierre-Paul with the no. 12 pick and then draft Nate Allen with the no. 43 pick in the second round. Allen may not be in Eric Berry's or Earl Thomas' league, but he's not that far off, either. He's smart and savvy, two qualities that serve starting free safeties in the NFL very well. Other safeties that should be available in the second round include Chad Jones out of LSU and Myron Rolle out of FSU, though I think Rolle may also be available in the 3rd to 4th round range.

Matthew,

How can anyone say we were bidding against ourselves when Dansby was even being recruited back by his own team among a few others?

Fins have probably overspent on occasion with some FA's but, I would not call them cheap.

The reason being that AFTER the article came out that Ross said $$ doesn't buy victories we signed Dansby to a major contract. He ended up spending it as Trifecta signed off on it. I believe Ross wants to win very badly.

Assigning value to anything (car, boat, etc) is not always the easiest thing to do. It's what the market will bear or what someone is willing to pay.

Assigning fair contracts to players based on, achievements, fit, scheme, track record, injury, team philosophy, precident, marketplace, demand, economy, inflation, gaurantees, team needs and many other factors is a very difficult thing to do.

One is essentially saying MY team would only pay "X" for that guy. The next team you ask says that was too much based off what they would pay and yet another team can say if you will only pay "X" then we will sign him as we will trump your offer. Who's right? Maybe all of them. Then the media hops in and the talking heads chime in with their opinion of too much or not enough? Fans...same thing.

Cheers,

And wait and wait and wait...

Darryl Dunphy,

Agreed... wise men say only fools rush in eh?

Absolute WORST case scenario is they wait it out... If they don't sign anyone and then via injury or straight bad play find out Clemons or Culver can't hack the spot, they pick up a street free agent or scan all rosters to trade a draft pick for a replacement after the season starts.

Even in the most dire of circumstances there is a way to remedy things if only a band-aid.

I won't play the double jeapardy game as there are always gonna be forks in the road. BP & Co have to make decision after decision and keep pressing forward. If Clark has a standout Pro Bowl year then we will always wonder if he would have doe the same here. If he doesn't play well then we will all thank God (well most all) that we didn't get em.

Cheers,

Jose T I wouldn't be surprised if parcells picks Jason Pierre- Paul, he fits the mold of what Parcells likes in a pass rusher. The only thing that worries me is that he has very liitle football experience and would be a work in progress because he still is pretty "raw" and we already have one of those in C. Wake.

Jose T.,

You got that right...NO Clark = NO end of the world!

I am not sure why so many fans panic when the Fins take aim but don't get their guy... Do those fans buy everything they they ever picked up in their hands and debated to purchase? LOL, no way.

Garth Brooks has a song called Unanswered Prayers that's very fitting... some of the best gifts are unanswered prayers sometimes.

I like Morgan Burnett at safety. Great combination of tackler and ballhawk! We may even be able to get him in the 3rd round.

My dream draft goes:

1.) Brandon Graham OLB/DE
2.) D. Thomas WR
3.) Morgan Burnett FS
If a trade in the 1st was pulled off 3b.) Ben Tate RB
4.) Linval Joeseph DT/NT
6.) O'Brian Schofield OLB
6.) Freddie Barnes WR
7 rnds BPA or trade for next years picks or to move around.

Cheers,

I can't belive clark would be so sensitive about being loved.OOOOH,my heart bleeds for him,GOODBYE!

Wish my company loved me enough to give me 3 to 10 mill a year.

Rob C, that's what I like about this Draft! We can easily get to impact players or starters with our first 3 picks. Like I stated earlier the majority are gonna be pumped with our first 2 picks, while the rest will be saying we should have traded the picks away for B. Marshall or Boldin. No way not on this draft class with all our needs.

Standley,

JPP is touted by many mocks as being a Fins choice. That's a full on upside choice as his body of work is very limited.

One year at that level would make it hard for me to pull the trigger.

The spin on players is very prevalant at this time of year. Easy to fall "in love" with a player and rationalize concerns away. The fact is, if you look at ANY draft publication, magazine article, online review etc that has EVER come out there are ALWAYS CONS on every prospect. You never see Cons: Has none! Perfect in every way by a players name. We are still talking an inexact science after all.

Graham has 2 inch shorter arms
McClain has Crones disease and can't get off blocks.
Dan Williams had a standout senior year and didn't play NT in a 3-4.
Spiller is thought to be too small.
Dez Bryant is suppose to be late and lazy.

Under extreme scrutiny they all have some knock of some kind.

Cheers,

P. a. y,

We all should get company love to the tune of 3 to 10million... even if it was for only a while it would be pretty killer. =)

Cheers,

Rob in OC please stop with the reach for Graham your killing me with ittt....u can take a "MOTOR-GUY" at 12....

The whole Clark situation----his side sounds accurate b/c he isnt that good---and Nolan and company knew that ---but maybe they thought they caould make him a better player----

Im glad he isnt a fin and im not sayn that just b/c he walked out on us---Sharper fiits better---or just go and draft 1--


Morgan burnett---i like him nice pick(Rob-in-oc)

Standley,

With the talent in this draft I would be hard pressed to gove up any picks... I think there will be more successful 5-6 round picks than in other years.

I am just crossing my fingers that someone wants a player at #12 so bad they give us like a #2 and a #3 to come up and get him while flopping 1sts.

Soo many players could really help the Fins!

Cheers,

Rob in OC, and that is why we are here to talk about this game and team we all love! I would take this possiblity in the draft 1st E. Thomas or Mays, 2nd D. Thomas, Tate or Lafell. Pending who's still around, I think at least on these guys will still be around in each round.

Rob, that's why I think it's gonna be hard come draft time, there is gonna be so many great players come 43 pick that it would be hard to pick a "bust".

Torell Troup---i heard an interview with him--i think this kid is really football smart---and in great shape at 6"3 315---with long arms---has the same body type as ferg---strong kid 34-on the bench played well at east-west shrine bowl----3rd round i like him---im not a Cam thomas fan---i worry about Tarheels--i get that hookie/hurricane i think im betta then i really am vibe---

It wouldn't be too hard to knock Pat White out. He's like 5'11" and 150 pounds soaking wet.

Spikes is their at 43---im taking him---how many inside linebackers in a 3-4 have that size and length/leadership itangibles in the last 5 draft years----He has dansby size---can be devolped to and inside/slide wolb in a 3-4 lot of value at that spot---but the wr issue will prob be addressed their--i like demaryius thomas --so i wouldnt be mad at it

I just feel parcells might be linebacker hungry---would love to pass rusher at 1st and spikes in second----wr--3rd---Te--4th

Sign sharper already--guy plays like rod woodson---hell be in the pro bowl till age 37

Looking at the Dolphins Depth chart at ILB taking a player like Spikes makes sense and I wouldn't be mad either.

allen,

Remember to look at it from a step back... '

While you bust my chops on the BG pick. (I would move back if I could.) The guy you want JPP can be a flat buster!

I say CAN because they ALL CAN be including Suh and McCoy. NO such thing as can't miss...period!

Since I take a "Best Player" approach I will bet you right NOW that Brandon Graham has a better career than JPP. Virtual shake? You are getting the "much higher rated player" so you should be golden...lets watch it unfold.

If I pick a guy early (12) that the majority says is a "reach" and the guy ends up being a player then the majority will be the one that is having the crow pot pie. If not...I have to dig in. =)

I know JPP has the long, lean build and can turn into a good/great player after adding some weight/strength and time to learn the games in and outs.

I simply feel like BG's amazing motor and superior techniques and 4 years at Michigan will circumvent supposed weaknesses. Am I crazy?...we shall see. Are there tons that agree with me? Not so much. I am not evaluating talent to join clubs or make friends. I am doing it because I enjoy it and I am hoping to spot some choices for my beloved Fins to pick up so that I may cheer them on as the WIN!

I make the call on a bunch of college players and then follow how they do in the NFL.

Thanks for the props on the Burnett pick.... he seems to get zero love in general but has some mean stats to back up his career at Georgia Tech.

Cheers,

allen

DT/NT Troup has some anchor ability in him for sure...maybe he will be tabbed later on by the Fins so they can adress other needs earlier. I like his game as well.

I think the real quandry will be if the Trifecta thinks there is a HUGE drop off between guys like Joeseph, Troup and Thomas. If it ends up being a somewhat close race then I think they wait on the all important NT.

Ratliff and Ferg's were definitely not 1st day guys and BP found em.

Cheers,

Standley,

E. Thomas is a possiblity in the 1st but I don't think Mays is on their radar too much.

As a freak of nature there are few better than Mays. He just whiffs too often and guys like Spiller, Golden Tate, McCluster eat his lunch in space. He has upside so we shall see...

No doubt about it the Raiders are thinking about him along with Bruce Cambell the OT. They are the Kings of falling for the triangle numbers as evidenced by the DHB WR selection at 7 last year. The guy can't catch as well as WR Lo Murphy the guy the got 5-6 round. Too funny.

Like I told allen... my target at safety is Morgan Burnett from Gerogia Tech. I am hoping for round 3. It only takes one team though.

Cheers,

allen,

I actually might go Micah Johnson ILB later then 2nd round you have to go with Spikes... maybe 4rth round for MJ? His skillset is similar to Spikes. Really tough guy, powerful, gets low and sticks his head in and crushes on people. Reminds me of a Poor Man's Patrick Willis without his stellar speed that makes PW so special.

The thing that scares me about both of them is are they just too slow afoot? The RB's and WR's on crossing paterns are flying in the NFL. Wes Welker is not gonna wait around to be squashed by them. Does a Percy Harvin or Darren Sproles embarass them? Stay tuned...

We grabbed Dansby which puts my WHOLE Fins FA at peace. They may snag a Sharper or take a flyer on another guy but if it ends up being just Dansby...I am fine.

Cheers,

Ill shake on that----

I tried looking for an ILB in the last 5 drafts that compared to mcclain and spikes height length leadership intangibles---and stats-----

Last guy who is comaprable is Bobby carpenter---do you remember who drafted him in the second round---tuna

Now he did turn out to suck---but i think spikes is longer and more explosive and physical---

My point is say what you want about mcclain and spikes---but their size is elite to hold up vs the run in a 3-4, the length to develop as a pass rusher on the edge---and the length to help them cover big tight ends----

These two guys are very rare---Spikes has that bloodline tooo---one of my fav players in the draft

ROB in OC----let me know do some digging---give me a guy that is like BGraham in the NFL that is a starting pass rusher ---(3-4 or 4-3)

with his lack of length and height--and pure athletic abilty -----i understand why you like hsi tape going against college players---but in the NFL---if you can give me an example maybe i can change my tune-----b/c i just dont see one

The site i respect the most has this to say about him--and i agree Walterfootball.com

Strengths:
Plays with great strength
Outstanding motor and doesn't take plays off
Elite level of production (29.5 career sacks)
Sets the edge in run support
Strong, active hands
Extends arms - knows how to disengage
Shows rip, swim, spin, club moves
Makes plays in pursuit
Knows how to set up an offensive tackle
Tough and plays through injuries
Plays with very sound technique
Quick to diagnose
Good intangibles
Great Senior Bowl week

Weaknesses:
Lacks a quick first step
Unimpressive speed and explosion
Below average height and poor arm length (30.5")
Limited athletically
Not comfortable in coverage
Stiff hips
Can he play standing up?
Might be 4-3 left defensive end only

Summary: The Lamarr Woodley comparisons are cliche and obvious, but Graham doesn't have Woodley's long arms or first step. However, Graham is the prospect I'm somewhat afraid to doubt. He put out very good tape and he'll give you everything he's got to make it in the league. If a team wants to convert Graham to outside linebacker, then they will have to find a way to hide his deficiencies in coverage. I don't think Graham is a top-25 first-round value, and I think he's a better college than pro player. Graham is going to come off the board in the top 40 picks.

Player Comparison: Dewayne White. White has a non-stop motor, is great in run support, and has similar size to Brandon Graham.


Saying all that they have him as a 4-3 end that is a top 25 pick----

he doesnt fit a 3-4 and 12 is too high for me---

your thoughtssss???

micah comparison to spikes is legit---but spikes is superior in his abilty to make plays in the passing game---and the length isnt close---for that means to things in a 3-4 scheme spikes can gaurd TE's and can be developed outside as a rusher which micah will struggle with both----the covering of wrs and rbs are in issue but every1 has a flaw and spikes abilty to read a QB is an intangible that helps him out

allen,

Well obvious comparison on BG as a pass rusher/player in the NFL is Lamarr Woodley of the Steelers. He is already getting coaching tips from LW as they were from same school.

LW is 6' 2" 265lbs.

did you read what walterfootball said about that comparison---it isnt comparable at ALL---it really is like saying every white wr that comes out is wes welker---- read my last comment

Woodley first step is better but more importantly woodley arm length is rediculous---and thats my biggest knock on graham

Well guys I will just say this, College football is the next level of play from High School and not a level down from the NFL. Playing in this league takes a certain type of guy. Being an all American in College is not a sure thing in the NFL.

Yes,

I see it and like I was saying earlier he seems a little on the fence about where to put him.

On one hand he says Dewayne White but also says he is somewhat afraid to doubt him. He will give you everything he has and has tons of good tape!

To me tons of good tape indicates a player alert.

I watched as BG absolutely schooled Brian Bulaga from Iowa. Bulaga gets rave reviews from most any sight and some team will take him as a tackle in the top 15-18 to guard their NFL QB... they better hope it's not vs BG... he will be confident already.

Standley,

Agreed! That's why I don't try to let any one source of info or one website sway me too much. I use a combo of lots of sites, tv, game footage and form my own opinion.

Concensus means SQUAT! Some trumped up list that everyone simply agrees is more correct than the next?? Bill Polian, Bill Parcells, Jimmy Johnson...all of them have been fooled on choices. I am definitely NOT saying I am better just noting it.

You take that stuff in surely but no single source should be gospel or you will get burned.

Cheers,

I'm tired guys, thanks the insight! Until next time. Peace!

cheers Standley!

You still around allen?

allen,

Some good back and forth points... Let's table it for now and resume soon.

Cheers,

Sounds to me like he wanted to "rest on his laurels". Good riddance!

i went to workout----i dont agree with everything that website says---but out of most people's mocks and talent evalution i agree with them more then others---

JPP or BG---debate will continue another day

We need every guy we can get with THEIR money.

Clark is lying; his agent isn't. He never wanted to leave the Steelers. He used his visit as leverage. It happens all the time. The agent has to tell the truth. He has other clients, including Thigpen. Why do all of you believe Clark? Did you just get off the truck? Always looking to criticize - sheese!

Clark would have been just a cheaper version of the Wilson mistake. They need a speed guy with a nose for the ball back there. Clark is not that guy. He would have just ended up on special teams anyway.

The article doesn't make sense. The Dolphin's response is "we aren't quite sure of what type of player you are" sounds like a very dumb response unless they know something that they aren't saying.
McClain has Chrone's disease! Don't even go anywhere near him. He could be great one week and gone for 10. Seriously. No such thing as under control with Chrone's. You aren't even supposed to run when you have Chrones. No physical or mental stress at all. Sorry coach, gotta take a crap is not a good answer at 3rd and 2 with 10 seconds left in the game.

HE WANTS STARTER MONEY AND HE CANT EVEN PLAY IN ALL THE CITIES, IF WE TRAVEL TO DENVER IN THE PLAYOFFS HE CANT PLAY!!!!!!! WHY SPEND SO MUCH MONEY ON A GUY WHO MAY NOT SUIT UP EVERY WEEK

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