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Contextualizing the Chuck Clark acquisition: Was it fair value?

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Sunday, the New York Jets acquired safety Chuck Clark from the Baltimore Ravens for a 2024 seventh-round pick. Coming along with Clark is his contract, which for Jets purposes is a 1 year deal with a $4,140,000 cap hit.

The overall trade was met by mixed reviews by Jets fans, as most acquisitions are are. In an attempt to ascertain the degree to which the deal was good, bad, or ugly for the Jets, I will dive into Clark’s ProFootballFocus (PFF) grades as well as the contract values of other players who play his position. Given the very minor draft capital that was sent to Baltimore, I will not bother to include that in the overall evaluation of Clark’s “cost to acquire.”

2022 PFF grades (rank in parentheses)

  • Overall score: 66.1 (46th of 88 ranked players)
  • Rush defense score: 77.4 (14th)
  • Pass rush score: 56.3 (59th)
  • Coverage score: 61.1 (59th)

Contract values within position (linebacker)

Effectively, Chuck Clark has a one year deal for 4.1 million dollars with an average annual value (AAV) of 4.1 million dollars. Other active players who have received between 3.1 and 5.1 million dollars on their AAV with contract lengths of at least 2 years are:

  • Xavier Woods (Carolina Panthers): PFF grade of 63.5 in 2022
  • Jayron Kearse (Dallas Cowboys): PFF grade of 71.1 in 2022
  • Jordan Poyer (Buffalo Bills): PFF grade of 65.7 in 2022
  • Eric Rowe (Miami Dolphins): PFF grade of 54.8 in 2022
  • Jabrill Peppers (New England Patriots): PFF grade of 75.0 in 2022
  • Adrian Phillips (New England Patriots): PFF grade of 72.7 in 2022
  • Malik Hooker (Dallas Cowboys): PFF grade of 76.2 in 2022
  • J.T. Gray (New Orleans Saints): Unranked in 2022
  • Andrew Wingard (Jacksonville Jaguars): Unranked in 2022
  • Darnell Savage Jr. (Green Bay Packers): PFF grade of 47.5 in 2022

My Takeaways

According to PFF, Chunk Clark was a formidable second safety in 2022 based on overall grade. Notably however is that the desirability of this grade was largely due to his run defense grade which ranked inside the top 15 while his pass rushing and coverage rankings were outside of the top 50.

Overall, Clark is probably best thought of as a useful but limited player at this point in his career. Given his modest contract value, this is likely a fair deal even if several players at this salary range graded out higher on PFF’s grading scale.