MARCH 7: In a tweet thanking Clark for his contributions over the past four seasons, the Chiefs announced the separation Tuesday. Clark will have a head start on finding a new home in free agency.
MARCH 6: The Chiefs and Erik Burkhardt, current agent for defensive end Frank Clark, were reportedly unable to work out an extension heading into the final year of Clark’s current two-year contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. With no new deal getting done to lessen the financial burden on Kansas City, and with Clark set to have a cap hit in 2023 of $28.68MM, the expectation is that the Chiefs will release Clark.
The two parties have been attempting to work out a cheaper way forward with one of their defensive stars who is third all-time in postseason sacks, but this year’s Super Bowl run gave them a delayed start in negotiations. Having failed to reach any common ground in efforts towards a renegotiated deal, Kansas City will not want to be responsible for the entirety of Clark’s massive cap hit. Releasing Clark will result in $21MM of cap savings and only $7.68MM in dead money.
If the Chiefs go that route, Clark will join this year’s free agent class. With a previous annual average value of $15.09MM, Clark was the league’s fifth highest paid defensive end. He likely becomes the top free agent option alongside fellow Super Bowl LVII participants Robert Quinn and Brandon Graham. Yannick Ngakoue and Jadeveon Clowney will also be top signing options this offseason.
Though the Chiefs and Clark may be parting ways, it may not be the end of Clark’s time in Kansas City. The 29-year-old may find, after testing the waters, that what the Chiefs have to offer is the best fit for him. Regardless, he’ll have that opportunity to test his market value if the Chiefs move forward with these plans.