A career long-lived was almost one that ended before his time in 2007.
After a game vs. the Denver Broncos in Invesco Field, Clark had to have his spleen and gallbladder removed. Clark suffered a spleen infection stemming from his sickle cell condition that could have ended his life let alone his career. Clark lost up to 30 pounds and did not return to playing football until 2008. And still, Clark has been able to play at a immensely high level for the last 5 seasons.
Entering his 12th season in the NFL, Ryan Clark has beyond exceeded a standard of excellence and defied many odds to be successful in the NFL.
And, he has made it known that he has plans to complete a successful career in Pittsburgh.
Entering the final year of his contract in Pittsburgh, however, there have been no active negotiations between the Steelers and Clark.
“I’ve definitely let the team know I want to continue playing here.”
While Clark may not have any quarrels with playing elsewhere, he’s not open to moving his family away from Pittsburgh. He has a daughter that is entering high school, and the soon to be 34 year old may consider retirement as an option.
“To bounce around and try to go to all these different places and maybe play for one-year contracts here and there, that’s not something I really want to do,” said Clark.
Considering the Steelers have drafted Shamarko Thomas to provide depth and youth in the Steeler secondary, provided Thomas progresses well, the writing may be on the wall for Clark in a Steeler uniform.
The Steelers are well known for separating themselves and not being too attached to talent right in the midst of being past their prime. And, Clark has quite a bright future behind a microphone as his work with ESPN indicates. The question becomes facing the 2013-14 season, is this the final tour for Ryan Clark?