Frank Clark Addresses Chiefs Departure

Frank Clark became the latest veteran edge rusher to find a new home yesterday, marking an end to his four-year tenure with the Chiefs. He spoke about his release from Kansas City and the lack of offers which came from the team after that.

Clark was let go in a cost-cutting move in March, though the door appeared to remain open to a new deal being worked out allowing him to remain with the Chiefs. The 29-year-old was not named a Pro Bowler in 2022 – the first time in which that was the case during his tenure in Kansas City – but he added 2.5 sacks in three postseason games to help lead the team to another Super Bowl title.

Remaining with the Chiefs would have required taking a pay cut to play out the remainder of Clark’s $104MM extension signed in 2019. Instead of re-working his contract for the second straight offseason, he decided to hit the open market and, ultimately, make a move to the division-rival Broncos. Comments made today about the situation illustrate his thought process with respect to departing Kansas City.

“At the end of the day, it’s a business, but I took a pay cut for years at a time,” Clark said during an interview with CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson (audio link). “I think it was two years in row I had to take a pay cut, which is fine. But going into my third year, I had a pretty great year… I helped my team win another Super Bowl, and I do what I have to do. But then I have big pay coming in next year on my deal, $20-plus million I think… So, we obviously know something has to be worked out. I wasn’t asking for an out-the-ballpark number. I wasn’t asking for $15 million to $20 million.”

Clark added that the Chiefs never submitted an offer on a new, more modest deal for 2023 before cutting him despite their desire to remain in touch on the topic of a reunion. As time wore on during the offseason, one in which the Chiefs spent a first-round pick on an edge rusher (Felix Anudike-Uzomah) for the second consecutive year, Kansas City still declined to offer what may have been considered a disrespectful contract. Having moved on amicably, though, Clark is turning his attention to his third career team without any ill will towards his second one.

“I enjoyed my time in KC,” he said. “I enjoyed the relationship that I built with everybody. There’s no hard feelings to anybody in that building.”

View Comments (1)