PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – The NFL Lockout is officially over. With the news passing yesterday that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been passed, Steelers’ Safety, Ryan Clark joined the Fan Morning Show in his regular weekly spot.
Clark is happy to be heading back to work at training camp in Latrobe. He thinks that training camp will have a very different feel because an entire off-season will take place within four weeks.
“It’s going to be weird. I honestly thought that teams would wait a little while to get us into camp. Almost to be fair, I felt like they would do that. This is not something that the players chose. The players didn’t choose to be locked out. The players didn’t choose to opt out of this CBA and be negotiating about this,” Clark said.
Clark thinks the deal worked out well for both sides and that neither side got everything they wanted.
“I don’t think in a negotiation anybody ever gets almost everything that they wanted,” Clark said. “I think the deal worked out well for both sides. Obviously the owners went into this wanting to get more money, wanted to get a bigger piece of the pie and they did. Even though starting out, that was something that we were against and didn’t want to do. But there’s no way, the owners lock us out and don’t gain an advantage in that area. I think with that though, we gained advantages in practice safety, in offseason, in workman’s comp, in insurance, in benefits to former players.”
Ryan holds no ill-will towards the Rooney family or any other ownership group because both sides were trying to make the best deal for themselves.
“I think the way it works, or at least the way it works for me, the owner I care about – the owners I care about- are the Rooneys. These are the men that put the faith in me in order to give me a job. These are the men who have given me two contracts. So, these are the guys I have my faith in and when you talk about a family, that’s the only family that I have as far as management goes,” Clark said.
“I really think Mr. Art Rooney II, he was different than the other owners. Even the one day we got to go in, he came down and he spoke with us. Also, [he] sent an e-mail after all this was over just thanking me for representing, thanking me for being a good rep to the team, because he cares about our players. As far as we go, we’re ready to win the championship. I’m ready for him to come give his speech at the beginning of camp and we’re ready to go out here and work.”
As for the negotiations, Clark said, “it’s time to just play football, to put this behind us. At least for the next ten years.”
When asked about whether Ike Taylor will remain a Steeler this season, Ryan wasn’t sure but with “three Super Bowl starts…. that’s going to hold value to other teams.”