Steelers retain Clark, bringing back WR Randle El
So much for the Steelers closing the door on Ryan Clark returning and Clark signing with the Miami Dolphins. Talks between the two sides picked back up today and Clark, Steelers have agreed to a four year deal with the total value of the contract worth close to $14 million.
The cap hit is expected to be around $3.5 million, in advance of a salary cap being back in place next season.
Clark had a strong interest in returning to Pittsburgh and two sides were able to find common ground as Clark had his agent re-engage in talks with the Steelers Monday morning.
After visiting the Dolphins today, Clark had a change of mind and agreed to a contract with the team he wanted to stay with all along.
Signing Clark was a flurry of moves made by the Steelers today who are usually very quiet during the early stages of free agency.
Among the moves today, Pittsburgh signed safety Will Allen, wide receiver Arnaz Battle and have finalized a three year deal with former wide receiver Antwaan Randle El this evening. Randle El is currently in Pittsburgh set to take a physical tonight.
The team has also reportedly reached an agreement with Buffalo Bills tackle Jon Scott, although an official announcement won’t be made until Tuesday, when Scott is scheduled to take a physical.
Allen was the first signing of the day, agreeing to a 3 year deal worth $4.5 million, with the total value of the contract (including signing bonus, guarantees) bringing the total worth of the contract to $6.05 million, according to a source close to Allen.
Financial details of Randle El’s deal has yet to be released. Arnaz Battle signed a 3 year deal worth $4 million, soon after Allen today.
Both players will provide depth for the Steelers and play a focal point on special teams.
The return of Clark, takes the safety position out of the Steelers early draft plans and also solidfies the position heading into next season.
Clark is a leader in the locker room and a great complement to Troy Polamalu, when Polamalu is healthy.
The Steelers clearly showed a strong interest in bolstering their special teams during free agency in adding Will Allen and Arnaz Battle.
Allen has been a top target of the Steelers since they ended their scouting evaluations in mid February.
The return of Randle El will give the Steelers plenty of options at wide receiver and in the return game as the team coveted a slot receiver since free agency opened.
Randle El who was the Steelers second round draft pick in 2002 has caught 348 passes for 4,214 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career.
Last season in Washington, Randle El recorded 50 receptions for 530 yards and no touchdowns.
Notes: Talks between the Steelers and Alvin Keels the agent for cornerback Leigh Bodden, a top target of Pittsburgh’s, broke off today as Bodden is believed to be nearing a deal with the New England Patriots. The Steelers were regarded as a surprise suitor for Bodden.