The Dolphins never had an opportunity to give a second offer, the sources said. Instead, while they were still on the phone negotiating with the agent, someone in the building received a text message from a person in Pittsburgh.http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/11/1524571/how-did-miami-dolphins-lose-out.html
Clark had agreed to terms with the Steelers, the text read. So how did it happen?
Apparently, Clark made the quick decision based on the Dolphins' inquisitions during the initial negotiating process with his agent -- questions that are often used in any negotiation when trying to leverage a fair price.
Clark, 30, missed the final half of the 2007 season after his spleen and gall bladder needed to be removed because a sickle-cell trait was aggravated due to high altitude when the Steelers were playing in Denver.
During his recovery, Clark lost more than 30 pounds because of a serious blood disorder. Last season, he didn't play against Denver so he wouldn't aggravate the injury.
But when the Dolphins began to express concern to his agent about Clark's health and age during those preliminary negotiations, Clark's agent then took those comments back to the safety.
The Dolphins still contend they certainly know Clark as a player (they've been scouting him since college), but they also felt it necessary to ask those questions of his agent. It was nothing unusual, sources said.
The following day, after abruptly leaving South Florida, Clark told a Pittsburgh television station, KDVR, that he didn't like the way Miami handled the negotiations.
``They told my agent, `Look, we just don't know this guy. After we evaluate him more out there with us, maybe we'll feel different about it.' But I just figured, if this is how they feel, these things aren't going to change about me overnight,'' Clark said.
That's where he might have been wrong. Something was about to change overnight. In the case of any negotiations, the first offer is rarely the only offer. This was no different.
``The initial offer and the deal he took were almost identical,'' one source said. ``Our first offer wasn't quite as much as his new contract in Pittsburgh. The second offer would have been higher.''
Had Clark hung around long enough to continue the negotiations (he was scheduled to have dinner Sunday night with the team's defensive backs coaches, but he decided to take Pittsburgh's offer within an hour of leaving the team's facility), the safety stood to earn a deal package worth $2 million more than the one he signed, a source said.
Interesting story. If he didn't feel comfortable here then that's fine, but why come out and say that we lowballed him?