Ryan Clark's contract with ESPN has expired

Former NFL safety Ryan Clark established a presence on ESPN before he retired. Now, after nine seasons of full-time employment, his contract has expired — making him a broadcasting free agent.

Clark has been candid about his status on social media. Three days ago, Clark posted on X that "we disagreed" on terms of a new deal, "& that's ok."

Earlier today, Clark added this: "It’s no longer a secret that my contract with ESPN has expired. Heck, I’m the reason it’s no longer a secret. I’m so grateful for the decade of work they allowed me to do on the world’s greatest sports platform."

Clark's contract ended the day after the Super Bowl, we're told. The two sides have been negotiating, and ESPN has a pending offer on the table. As of this posting, ESPN is waiting to hear from Clark.

He occupies a key spot in ESPN's NFL coverage. It's a big platform. The question is whether he can get more than whatever ESPN is offering elsewhere. Even if he does, there's value in the exposure that being on ESPN provides. It likely helped him become the host of Inside The NFL, and it surely has boosted his Pivot podcast.

Regardless, the ball is in Clark's court. ESPN has an offer on the table. He can accept it, or he can counter. If he counters, ESPN can do the same.

Through it all, the door is open for someone else to pilfer Clark from ESPN. Until a deal is done, he's free to go wherever he wants.

We always support the idea of folks getting full value for their skills and abilities. That effort must be balanced against a keen sense of self-awareness as to the alternatives.

As to Clark, there currently should be no ambiguity as to the fact that, if another network wants him, he's available to be signed.