Danny Clark (American football)
|Date of birth:||May 9, 1977|
|Place of birth:||Blue Island, Illinois|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||233 lb (106 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2000 / Round: 7 / Pick: 245|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics|
Danny Clark, IV (born May 9, 1977 in Blue Island, Illinois) is a former American football linebacker. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He played college football at Illinois.
Clark played quarterback and linebacker at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Illinois where he was All-conference as a quarterback and linebacker. He was an All-area pick and also chosen All-State as a defensive back. On offense, Clark rushed for 505 yards on 77 attempts and seven touchdowns and passed for 913 yards and five touchdowns as a senior and he also lettered in basketball.
Clark attended the University of Illinois, where he played for the Fighting Illini football team. He started 44 of 45 games played in 4 seasons was named honorable mention All-Big Ten three times as a linebacker, and finished his college career with the sixth most (384) tackles at Illinois, finishing just ahead of Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus. As a senior in 1999, was named honorable mention All-Big Ten after started all 12 games and recorded a career-high 122 tackles, 3 sacks and an interception. He had a team-high 115 tackles as a junior and also had 2 interceptions, 7 passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Clark graduated Illinois with a bachelor's degree in communications.
Clark was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft, with the 245th overall selection. He signed a four-year $1.4 million contract with the Jaguars. In four seasons with the Jaguars, Clark played in 61 games, starting 27, and saw action both at linebacker and on special teams. In 2001, played in 13 games with 3 starts and finished with 48 tackles, 1 pass defensed and 1 forced fumble along with 17 special teams tackles. In the 2002 NFL Season, he started all 16 games for them and finished as the Jaguars’ 2nd-leading tackler with a career-high 152 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, a pass defensed and a forced fumble. In 2003, his final season in Jacksonville, Clark played in all 16 games with 8 starts and finished with 73 tackles and 11 special teams tackles.
In 2004, Clark signed a two-year, $3 million contract by the Oakland Raiders on March 12, 2004, and became a full-time starter at linebacker with the Raiders. Clark started all 16 games in 2004, and led the Raiders in tackles with 129 tackles (98 solo), 2 sacks and 5 passes defensed. In 2005, Clark started 15 of 16 games for Oakland and led the Raiders in tackles for the 2nd consecutive season with 113 stops (82 solo), a sack and 7 passes defensed. He was released by the Oakland Raiders on September 2, 2006.
First stint with Saints
Clark signed a one-year $625,000 contract with the New Orleans Saints on September 5, 2006, and played one season with the team. He appeared in all 16 games, starting none, and recorded 29 tackles—13 tackles (10 solo) and 13 tackles on special teams as Saints appeared in the NFC Championship game.
Clark signed a one-year $1.4 million contract with the Houston Texans on March 7, 2007, and he went on to appear in 13 games including eight starts, and recorded 51 tackles and an interception and a forced fumble.
New York Giants
On March 13, 2008, Clark was signed by the New York Giants to a two-year $4 million contract. He was slated as a backup for the weakside linebacker spot, but a season-ending injury to Osi Umenyiora in a pre-season game forced the Giants to move their starting strongside linebacker, Mathias Kiwanuka, to defensive end, allowing Clark to take over as the starting linebacker for the 2008 season. In 2008, he played in all 16 regular season games with 15 starts and started the NFC Divisional Playoff game vs. Philadelphia and finished 3rd on the team 74 tackles (36 solo), 6 tackles for losses, 1 pass defensed, 1 forced fumble and 2 special teams tackles.