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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?


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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"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."

Did you ever consider that the Dolphins are being a little more cautious with their spending BECAUSE they made the mistake of shelling out $8 million for Gibril? Oh, wait, I forgot your logic only works one way. I love how the entirety of this blog post just assumes Clark is a great player and the Dolphins missed some magical opportunity. Sure, he's a decent starter -- but should we really be going bonkers because we couldn't come to terms with one guy? The Dolphins management of the Parcells era has never been about free agent shopping sprees. But you don't seem to reflect the other side of the story here. But you'd think -- since you've covered the team for so long, as you continually remind us on this 'blog' -- you'd know that. No wonder Ireland and Parcells don't talk to you.

-- Bebo

This has been Miami's problem for over 15 Yrs every year we get big name free agents in and they fly right out. We have to step up, Just because we have the Best Strip Clubs and Hot women and no State tax is not enough to overcome us low-balling a starting Saftey that is a SuperBowl champion by Millions a year Parcells this is not 1985 Step up or get the hell out. And then you raise ticket prices !!!!

This guy is just trying to cover his own tracks. His own agent told the truth the day it all whent down. All he is doing is a little "Media personal image repair".... I could care less. I am so sick of hearing about all these free agents looking to roll teams for as much money as they can it makes me sick. I'll be watching as we do what I like to see anyway... Build a long term winner out of the draft like all the teams who are winning do. It would not bother me a bit to never see another free agent in Miami again. Anyone see Indy signing Free agents??, aside from resigning guys, How about Pittsburgh?? No... they are building as they always have out of the draft. The sooner the Draft gets here the better.

went* my mistake

This guy Clark cant get his story straight. He said he "left money on the table" to go back to his old team. Stop whining fans... you don't know the truth

I agree with the Dolphin regime on this one. Why lie to the guy?

The phins thought he was good but not great and made an offer that reflected that. I agree.

IMO he is more like Y. Bell. A big hitter but not necessarily a good cover safety which we need to compliment Bell.

Clark is a liar… he said he came to Miami “with an open mind.” Funny because I read before that he was praying to sign with Miami. That is not an open mind. When I pray for something to happen it is because I want it to happen. Not because I have an open mind.

Its just a case of C.Y.A. for Clark. Cover you’re @ss (he made bold comments before the Miami visit) So I ask, is Clark that special? Not if was only paid 14 million. If it was such a bargain why didn’t other teams chase him?

Clark is the one who made a mistake… Miami is on the rise, while the Steelers are going down. Especially if Roethlisberger gets in trouble. He certainly is distracted from football right now.

I guarantee the Dolphins have a better record than the Steelers!

Miami refused to over pay for a marginal player who was afraid to prove his worth. Seems to me that this was the best move they could make, especially after the Dansby signing. The cap will most certainly return. So free agent spending has to remain limited to some degree. The team had nothing to lose in my opinion by offering this guy what it did.

I believe Clark. And this really confirmed for me what I already have been suspecting. Miami will pay big for a few but want flea market deals for the rest of the team. Also unprepared for a game changer to visit by not knowing him????? Are freaking kidding me???? Folks get ready for another 7-9 season IF were lucky could be worse. GO PHINSSSS sniff sniff

Rob in OC,

1:04 & 1:21
great points!

My guess is Miami will sign a fairly young average FS, and even draft another one in the draft. Then allow Clemons and the 2 new FSs battle it out in camp. If they make a trade this goes out the window. Last season they claimed Clemons had a lot of potential and with high 4.3 speed he has the physical tools. By signing another FS and drafting one you give your roster plenty of depth, help on special teams and 3 guys playing hard to earn the starting FS position. The secondary will be much better after 3 rookies have a full season and this summers training camps under them. In my opinion.

Man, I am happy to see the fans talking intelligent football ..the last few days it was a drag reading all the non sense.. Lets talk Facts and Dolphins and enjoy our very much improving team. I am saddened by Jim Mandich's sickness. He is a true Doplhin , and part of the family. Love ya Jimmy, and Your going to be ALRIGHT!!!!

If we are not set on the S we have then sign Sharper for a 1-2 year contract. Oh, and make him feel loved, because apparently we haven't been.

I think the front office is close until the draft. Still a chance that the Dolphins have signed Dansby. Really disappointing offseason.

2nd HIGHEST payroll in the NFL and Still have people saying the Dolphins are cheap...I'm so sorry FACTS got in the way of ur ridiculous blog...Dolphins offered the guy what they thought he was worth, they don't need to overpay for a free safety...they will sign a FS that they can use at a FAIR price !!!

Mel Hernadez

Mel, I agree with you 100%

you people are all taking this as gospel when the player and his agent can't even get their lies straight

who the hell is Clark anynways... i mean really!

clark sucks. he can hit and that's about it. sharper is a ballhawk but i think he resigns with the saints . he fits their system and brees is already talking repeat. why would sharper leave? i say wait until the draft unless irelands picks up an “acorn” that happens to get cut. as far as the 12th pick trade down as many times as possible and acquire picks. i know alot of you guys want the bpa at 12 but miami needs alot spots filled. the more times parcells and co. can hand pick who fills those spots as possible in this talent rich draft is fine by me.

I would not call not signing him a setback. I didnt want him in the first place and apparently the big 3 did not either.

This is really not even news.

I agree with bobby12. Second highest payroll in the nfl. Stop complaining about player salaries.

Didnt the agent say he left money on the table!!!

Interesting story Mando! Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Everythign happens for a reason and for some reason this deal just was not able to get done. Of well, there are more fish in the sea!!

clemons will be the safety this year. he has one year under his belt and is still in the learning process. if he plays this year he gets more knowledge.

I think I understand this now.

From the article:
"Despite the fact that Clark left his heart in Pittsburgh, he says he set off on a flight for Florida eager to evaluate the foundation of a fresh start. Clark told Anderson that he was given a preliminary idea of what the Dolphins would pay him before he arrived."


I moved from one group in the organization to another. In my move I was told to expect a large salaray bump, but when talking to my new manager, it turned out to not be as big as what I had been told. It was still a nice jump in pay, but that kinda blew the air out of my sails for a bit.

If he came to Miami expecting 5M a year, and they offered him 4... or whatever... then it almost FEELS like a pay cut. It is silly, really, but when people tell you that you can be making X amount of money, you immidiately value yourself at that level and feel dissapointed when not there!

If anyone plays this year they'll "get more knowledge." What does that even mean? We want a player who can tackle and cover, not someone looking for life experience.

-- Bebo

Are you still waiting by the phone?

The trifecta is not calling you back and giving you any info on the Clark non signing. Why even bother wasting time with this. He is not a Dolphin so he is not going to help our team, move on. How about some info as to why we are not pursuing the safety from the rams. Go Fins!! Draft Defense

jimmyfin - Maybe they like the current safety we have on our team...Clemons!

True enough. He had a great camp last year and has a year under his belt, but they talked to rolle and Clark so there is obviously some concern.

My two bits is that I guarantee you that the Clemons kid will be a Playmaker this year. One more year of growth/experience for the DB/S to WORK TOGETHER as a UNIT will go a long way in his confidence to take risks. I could see Clemons flashing last year. He probably played conservative for fear of failing. Remember that the defensive players were not showcased last year because we played very conservative as a unit. That will change this year with Coach Nolan running the show and the acquisition of Dansby. The Trifecta needed, and still need to provide him with the right personnel. I’m interested in seeing if Nolan can make a player out of Jason Allen because he has the athletic skills and now has 4 yrs. experience to see the big picture. We will probably concentrate on OLB/DE, WR, DT, S, G, TE in that order this year. They will not trade up but rather down as this is a deep draft in the positions they need. Patrick Cobbs will be back healthy this year. We are set at QB. Pretty much at OL and TE so the run avg. will improve. The game will slow more for C. Henne and his receivers will become more adapted and improve. We will make the playoffs this year depending on injuries. Go Fins!

Agreed, jimmyfin. How about some constructive news, instead of speculation about news that happened days ago? What's the point of this blog again?

-- Bebo

I agree with your draft order Carlos but would like to snag a playmaking TE before getting a guard. I consider Nolan as a big free agent signing because this defense will improve.

I think Mays is a Tuna guy. He is huge for s. He blew it up at the comibine he big and fast sounds like a Tuna guy to me

What the Saints did with an aging Darren Sharper was smart. They got him for one year in which he contributed a lot in helping his team get to the Super Bowl and winning. He's just testing the market to see if he can get a longer term deal, but the Saints will re-up and give him a bigger raise for another year.

We took a shot at Ryan Clark, but he wasn't worth the price the Steelers were willing to pay. Naturally the Steelers can pay him more because they don't have to familiarize him with a new system. I'm OK with that. He's past his prime. So was Anquan Boldin. Karlos Dansby was well worth getting.

My bigger concern is how well we draft. We've had some hits and some misses. I disagreed with taking Pat White in round 2, but you keep finding players you can develop into pros. Even Jake Long hasn't reached his full potential.

I would quit wasting time creating a much ado about nothing.

You guys saying to move on don't realize if the Dolphins make mistakes on these visits they lose players.

So DO NOT MOVE ON. I want the media on their butt to hold them to account because I don't want another 7-9 season.

I'm not drinking the trifecta Kool-Aid this year because these guys have made significant mistakes in how they handle free agency for three years running.

Ryan Clark isn't that good? He's better than the free safety we got slated to start right now. Period.

Anybody that doesn't recognize that doesn't know football.

Bebo, you're a little puke. You don't know anything about football. And I don't believe you're a journalist either so what do you know what is interesting or constructive news or not.

I doubt the Dolphins will explain themselves to anyone, Mando. They're all high and mighty in their little football kingdom thinking they don't owe fans an explanation when they screwed up.

And they screwed up here!

The Steelers are better than them and the Steelers valued this guy. So why didn't the Dolphins value the guy if they brought him to town?

We deserve answers!

Good blog.

We suck.

Just wanted to remind everyone.


i second that omar .

Interesting stuff and good comments this morning.

One question to Jeff: You don't think losing Clark is a setback? So it's a GOOD thing when the team brings players to town and doesn't sign them?


Frankly I am glad this guy wasn't signed even though he is a starting free safety which we need. The Steelers offered him the $14 million for 4 more years, but who says Miami didn't offer the same amount or something similar? My guess is that they did, but he chose to stay in Pittsburgh in order to avoid moving to a new city. This guy is a family man, and he will think family first, then money. The pros and money of staying in Pittsburgh obviously out weight the pros and money Miami had to offer. We still hold our draft picks and it's still a long FA period, let this go folks....he's still a steeler,end of story.

P.S.... We play them again this year, let's all be there to cheer Clark on, if you know what I mean..

can we move on to a new story , there's no news here, the dolphins will not spend money like last year ,ross said money don't buy victories .

to be or not to be .

Thank you ALoco

Inimounts: You say Miami needs a veteran in the defensive backfield? What do you consider Bell and Allen? Clemons will be the starter for Miami eventually. Maybe not this year or next, but eventually he will be a solid player. With a season under our rookies and this summers OTAs our DBs will be better. We cant take a chance with our first pick. It has to be a sure fire starter. Last year we had the luxury of two 2nd round picks and used it on White. For us to win the east this eason we must find 3+ starters in this draft. Dez Bryant is far from a sure thing.

Hi all,

off topic, but for those who have a facebook account can join this page that is set up for Jim Mandich:


Hey Mando did it ring yet? LOL...

It won't. I think the Dolphins may have made a mistake not signing this kid. I wonder what the offer really was...?

Loosing out on Clark is not that big of a deal. It would have been nice to sign him but in reality he was not that different than Wilson. Good hitter, questionable in coverage and a decent ball hawk. This was exactly what Wilson was when he was signed. I think Clemmons has a much bigger upside than Clark. The question is is Clemmons ready? I also think it is very likely that we draft a safety early on this year as well. So I don't think the sky is falling over loosing out on this FA.

Move on

Clark doesn't matter. He's not that good to begin with. I'm sure the Dolphins offered what they thought he was worth. Rolle was the big loss. Clark is meaningless.

Fer crying out loud, people, Ryan Clark wasn't worth the money. Period. Kudos to the fins for not overpaying him. Throwing great money at middling players only causes problems in the long term. Don't be such whiners. We dodged a bullet, big time!

I think Clark told the half of the truth, may be he was just asked to compete for the start spot, and the salary was not as good as G. Wilson but better than he had, and the time with the team that was offered was also not long. The idea to compete for the starting roll hurt his ego, and decide not to sign with the dolphins.
Between the lines, I read that we will hire a sure upgrade for the FS, because Clemmons and Culver are already enhance their play level, witch are good news.

Alex in Hialeah, are u part owner oc the Fins??? Unless u are they owe u NO explanation, this is a business, they can hire, fire and pay who they please..They have the second highest payroll in the NFL, that's all u need to know

The Dolphins should draft a corner and move Sean Smith to safety.

I wish someone would throw the trifecta under a bus. We still don't have a WR,NT,or OLB. Parcells/Ireland aren't likely to draft Dez Bryant in the draft even if he is available. keep up your good work Amondo keep exposing the trifecta and what a poor job they are really doing. Maybe not signing Rolle,Boldin,and Clark is a GOOD THING! Rolle and Clark will be intercepting Hennes passes(some probably batted up by Ginn and Turner) when Boldin could have been catching them, and Boldin will be catching TD's from Flacco in Baltimore. I am hoping against HOPE Mr. Ross sees the light after we go 3-14 or 4-12 in 2010 and the TRIFECTA become the TRIFIRED!!!!!!! BRING IN OZZIE NEWSOME
The TRIFECTA will become the TRIFIRED while we watch the dang JETS win the superbowl!


Get a life brother, I think you're having nightmares. You need to relax your mind.

Fin fan your a real POS. Go root for the jets! And stay outta here

Patience my fellow dolphin fans. The draft and a players growth is a process. The players growth is through expierence, education and time. The unknown variable is how the individuals learn and grasp the system and information presented to them. Their personal study habits and personal desire to be the best. Parcells track record speaks for itself, ie. would you agree that the Dallas Cowboys are benefitting from when BP was in charge?

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