Jets to trade for Chuck Clark, Braxton Berrios cut

Rich CiminiESPN Writer3 minute read

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — As they await news from quarterback Aaron Rodgers on a potential trade, the New York Jets continue to work on their roster.

On Thursday, they agreed to acquire safety Chuck Clark from the Baltimore Ravens and released wide receiver Braxton Berrios in a cap-related move, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Jets traded a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Ravens in exchange for Clark, a longtime starter who will add experience to the back of an already strong defense. The trade won’t become official until March 15, the start of the league’s year.

Clark, who turns 28 on April 19, spent six years with the Ravens, the last four as a starter. He became expendable because they signed Marcus Williams as a free agent and drafted Kyle Hamilton in the first round last offseason.

Safety was considered the weakest area of ​​the Jets’ defense, which ranked fourth in yards allowed. Jordan Whitehead and Lamarcus Joyner, a pending free agent, were the starters. They will likely leave Joyner unless they decide to release Whitehead, who has a cap of $10.2 for the final year of his contract.

Clark’s contract, which is entering its final year, is capped: $2.5 million in base salary, which the Jets will inherit.

The Ravens were expected to part ways with Clark because the team moves Hamilton, the No. 14 overall pick last year, to Clark’s starting spot. Baltimore also desperately needed to free up some salary cap margin. By trading Clark, Baltimore created $3.64 million in cap space. The Ravens need to clear about $6 million more by March 15 to get Lamar Jackson’s non-exclusive franchise tag ($32 million) under the cap.

Baltimore tried to trade Clark last year, but was unsuccessful. A sixth-round pick in 2017, Clark has been a dependable player and admirable leader, starting Baltimore’s last 60 games.

In his last three seasons as a full-time starter, Clark recorded 274 tackles, which ranks only behind linebacker Patrick Queen (320) on the Ravens. During that span, Clark was the only Baltimore player with multiple forced fumbles, interceptions, and defensive touchdowns.

Berrios’ move didn’t come as a surprise, as he was expected to count $8.2 million on the cap. The Jets will receive a $5 million cap savings when the move becomes official next week, meaning they’ll be left with $3.2 million in dead money.

Berrios’ agent and the Jets discussed a possible restructuring, but the two sides could not reach an agreement.

A year ago, the Jets made Berrios a top priority, re-signing him to a two-year, $12 million deal after a career year. In 2021, he was named a first-team All-Pro as a kick returner. He caught 46 passes for 431 yards – two career highs – but his production has dropped sharply in 2022.

Berrios saw his playing time dwindle last season and his count dropped to 18 receptions for 145 yards. Sure-handed Berrios had arguably the biggest fall of the season, failing to get a fourth pass into the end zone in the final minutes of a 27-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 4 .

The Jets still have depth at receiver, with Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore and Corey Davis under contract. Davis could also be a victim of the cap.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.

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