- The Washington Times - Monday, March 31, 2014

After nearly three weeks of negotiations, the Washington Redskins and free agent safety Ryan Clark reportedly have agreed in principle on a one-year contract, allowing Clark to return to the team he first signed with a decade ago.

Clark and his representatives had been discussing the parameters of a contract since he first visited Redskins Park on March 13, two days after the free agent signing period opened. The 34-year-old left that visit without a contract offer, and the market for his services remained soft. Only the Seattle Seahawks, who hosted Clark last week, were known to be actively pursuing the free safety, but the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets reportedly were interested as well.

Joel Turner, Clark’s agent, declined comment when reached via text message late Monday and said he would not address the topic “until it’s appropriate.” ESPN 980, the team-owned radio station, was first to report Clark had agreed to a contract offer, and CBS Sports later reported that a deal between the parties was for one year.

Clark spent the last eight years playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom he won the Super Bowl following the 2008 season. He also was selected to his only Pro Bowl appearance after the 2011 season.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Clark would immediately bring experience and expertise to the Redskins‘ defensive backfield, where he’d figure to assume a role as the team’s starting free safety. Such a move would allow Brandon Meriweather, who became an unrestricted free agent but signed a one-year contract to return to the team two weeks ago, to move back to a more natural strong safety position.

Clark played in every game in 2013, when he had a career-high 104 tackles and intercepted two passes. Undrafted out of LSU in 2002, he played two seasons for the New York Giants before signing with the Redskins, who chose not to retain him after two productive seasons as a starter in 2004 and 2005.

The Redskins were also set to host wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who was released by the Philadelphia Eagles last week. A three-time Pro Bowler, including after last season, Jackson, 27, arrived in Northern Virginia on Monday evening and was set to spend most of Tuesday meeting with team personnel.

According to NFL Players Association records, the Redskins entered the week with $6,315,869 remaining in salary cap space.

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