FLORHAM PARK, NJ — As they await word from quarterback Aaron Rodgers on a potential trade, the New York Jets continued 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 on Thursday, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Jets traded a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Ravens in exchange for Clark, a long-time starter who will add experience to the back end of an already strong defense. The trade won’t become official until March 15, the start of the league year.
Clark, who turns 28 on April 19, spent six years with the Ravens, the last four as a starter. He became expendable because last offseason they signed Marcus Williams as a free agent and drafted Kyle Hamilton in the first round.
Safety was regarded as the weakest area on the Jets’ defense, which ranked fourth in yards allowed. Jordan Whitehead and Lamarcus Joyner, a pending free agent, were the starters. They likely will move on from Joyner unless they decide to release Whitehead, who has a $10.2 cap charge for the final year of his contract.
Clark, entering the final year of his contract, is cap friendly — $2.5 million base salary, which the Jets will inherit.
The Ravens were expected to part ways with Clark because the team is moving Hamilton, the No. 14 overall pick last year, to Clark’s starting spot. Baltimore also desperately needed to free up salary cap room. 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 nonexclusive 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 past 60 games.
In his last three seasons as a full-time starter, Clark has recorded 274 tackles, which ranked only behind linebacker Patrick Queen (320) on the Ravens. Over that span, Clark is the only Baltimore player with multiple forced fumbles, interceptions and defensive touchdowns.
The Berrios move didn’t come as a surprise, as he was due to count $8.2 million on the cap. The Jets will receive a $5 million cap savings when the move becomes official next week, which means they get stuck with $3.2 million in dead money.
Berrios’ agent and the Jets discussed a possible restructuring, but the two sides weren’t able to come to an agreement.
A year ago, the Jets made Berrios a top priority, re-signing him to a two-year, $12 million contract after a career year. In 2021, he was named first team All-Pro as a kick returner. He caught 46 passes for 431 yards — both career highs — but his production declined sharply in 2022.
Berrios saw a decrease in playing time last season and his number dropped to 18 receptions for 145 yards. The surehanded Berrios made arguably the biggest drop of the season, failing to secure a fourth-down pass in 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 also could be a cap casualty.
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.