Frank Clark

Seahawks Trade Frank Clark To Chiefs

On Tuesday, the Seahawks agreed to trade Frank Clark to the Chiefs. When finalized, the deal will send Clark and a third-round choice (No. 84 overall) to the Seahawks for their first-round pick (No. 29), third-round pick (No. 92), and the lower of the Chiefs’ 2020 second-rounders. 

The Seahawks originally cuffed Clark with a franchise tag for 2019, but the defensive end said he was unwilling to play under the terms of the one-year tender. Ultimately, Clark got his way with a massive long-term extension. The Chiefs have agreed to sign Clark to a five-year, $105.5MM deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The pact includes $63.5MM guaranteed and gives him a potentially larger total intake than Cowboys standout Demarcus Lawrence. Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweets that the $105.5MM figure is a maximum value, and that the actual contract is a five-year, $104MM pact. The additional $1.5MM stems from $300K incentives that Clark could earn in each year of the deal for posting 11.5 sacks or more.

However, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets that Clark may have been unwilling to ink that same deal with the Seahawks if Seattle had extended it to him. Instead, he was, despite his statements to the contrary, willing to hold out until September and then sign his franchise tender before the regular season started.

In a perfect world, the Seahawks would have liked to keep Clark for the long haul. However, after making Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history, space was rather limited. But now, as Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets, the team can shift its focus to extending Bobby Wagner this offseason, and if the Seahawks can’t get a deal done, they will have enough cap space in 2020 to put the franchise tag on Wagner if it so chooses.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have made another major change to their defense. After ranking 31st in yards allowed in 2018, they’ve swapped defensive coordinator Bob Sutton for Steve Spagnuolo, moved to a 4-3 scheme, traded Dee Ford, and released Justin Houston and Eric Berry. Now, it’s out with the old and in with the new for KC. The Chiefs have landed one of the game’s best young edge rushers in clark, bringing him to a front seven that also includes new pickups Alex Okafor, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Damien Wilson.

Clark, 26 in June, entered the league as a second-round pick in 2015, but truly broke out as an NFL sophomore with ten sacks in 2016. After a nine-sack effort in 2017, he exploded for 13 sacks last year, his first full season as a starter.

Clearly, the Chiefs are all-in on fixing their defense, but it has come at the expense of draft capital and future flexibility. The Chiefs no longer have a first-round pick for Thursday, nor do they have a ton of wiggle room in future years after locking up Clark through his prime seasons.

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Seahawks Want First-, Second-Round Picks For Frank Clark?

The Chiefs completed a tag-and-trade transaction involving an edge defender last month. The 49ers gave them a 2020 second-round pick for Dee Ford. That type of return will not satisfy the Seahawks regarding Frank Clark.

Linked to having Clark on the trade block, the Seahawks do not plan to let their top pass rusher go for cheap. They are believed to want first- and second-round picks to part with the standout defensive end, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Both the Chiefs and Colts are interested.

While it is not certain if they are willing to meet this asking price, the Chiefs have discussed trading for Clark to replace Ford, Breer adds. Clark has been more consistent than Ford, entering 2019 on the heels of three straight nine-plus-sack seasons. He is two years younger than Ford and at 265 pounds fits Steve Spagnuolo‘s 4-3 scheme better. Clark has also only missed two games in his career. But the matter of his $17.1MM franchise tag and his past complicate matters.

Having already released Kareem Hunt and seeing Tyreek Hill in precarious territory because of an ongoing investigation, the Chiefs trading for Clark would be an interesting decision. Clark was kicked off Michigan’s team because of a domestic violence arrest, which ended up producing a guilty plea for the lesser charge of disorderly conduct. The Chiefs do have the draft capital, with three picks in the first two rounds, and feature a big need at defensive end in what is expected to be Patrick Mahomes‘ final year on a rookie contract.

As for the Seahawks’ financial situation, John Schneider said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter) it would be “feasible but very challenging” to keep Clark, Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed long-term. Wagner and the Seahawks have begun extension talks. A two-year starter at defensive tackle, Reed became extension-eligible this offseason. The franchise just authorized a four-year, $140MM Russell Wilson re-up, further complicating its ability to fortify the defense.

However, if Seattle trades Clark, defensive end becomes a major need. The team already has a deficiency there, given the lack of a reliable edge complement for Clark. But Schneider also indicated he would like the Seahawks — who have traded down in the first round in nearly every draft this decade — to acquire more picks. They hold an NFL-low four now and are without a second-round choice.

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Jets Not Interested In Frank Clark?

The Jets have no real interest in Seahawks edge defender Frank Clark, Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter) hears. On Monday morning, one report indicated that the Jets were in the hunt for Clark, but that’s apparently not the case. 

Mehta hears that the Jets did their due diligence on Clark, as they tend to do with notable players who are available via trade. However, that’s where their research stopped. At this time, the Jets have no interest in the Seahawks standout, despite his significant production in 2018 and the club’s clear need for edge rush help.

The Jets haven’t had a player with double-digit sacks since 2015, but they could have the opportunity to draft the likes of Josh Allen from Kentucky or Nick Bosa from Ohio State if they stand pat at No. 3. Given the depth of this year’s class, they may also be able to get pass rush help even if they move down.

Clark, 26 in June, entered the league as a second-round pick in 2015, but truly broke out as an NFL sophomore with ten sacks in 2016. After a nine-sack effort in 2017, he exploded for 13 sacks last year, his first full season as a starter.

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Chiefs, Colts Interested In Frank Clark

The Frank Clark sweepstakes is heating up. The Chiefs and Colts have shown interest in the Seahawks’ edge rusher and a deal could come together early this week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). Rapoport also heard rumblings of the Jets being interested in Clark, but Manish Mehta of the Daily News hears that’s not the case.

A pre-draft deal would make sense for all parties involved and the Seahawks would probably prefer to have their ducks in a row well in advance of Thursday. It’s also still possible that the Seahawks will move forward with Clark, though the franchise-tagged player has indicated that he will not report to training camp without a new deal. The two sides made progress on that front in early March, but it’s not clear if things have advanced since then.

Recently, Cowboys star DeMarcus Lawrence agreed to a new $21MM/year deal, which could embolden Clark’s camp to ask for even more. The Seahawks, ideally, would like to bring Clark back after he registered 13 sacks in 2018, but the opportunity to free up cap space and net a first-round pick for his services could be too good to pass up.

After moving on from Dee Ford and Justin Houston, Clark would make plenty of sense for the Chiefs. However, his off-the-field history could give KC some hesitation given the ongoing Tyreek Hill situation. There’s also the matter of forking over a top-of-the-market deal, which should give the Colts similar pause.

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Seahawks ‘Considering’ Frank Clark Trade, Want First Round Pick For Him

Ever since the Seahawks locked up Russell Wilson with his record-setting deal, everybody’s attention has turned toward pass-rusher Frank Clark. The dynamic defensive end was franchise-tagged by Seattle, and is seeking a longterm deal of his own.

The Seahawk have insisted they want to sign Clark to a new deal, and head coach Pete Carroll has said he’ll be with the team in 2019. Despite that trade rumors have continued to swirl, and we heard yesterday that several teams were interested. Seattle is apparently open to the idea, as they are “still considering” trading Clark, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. A source told Schefter that “in return, the Seahawks would want any package to include at least a first-round pick in next week’s NFL draft.”

That’s not an unreasonable ask, but it’s possible no teams will be willing to meet that price. We heard in early March that Clark and the Seahawks were progressing on a new deal, but things appear to have fallen apart since then. Previous reports indicated the Seahawks were reluctant to move Clark, but Schefter’s report makes it sound like they’re much more open to the idea.

The Seahawks have a league-low four picks in the 2019 draft. Trading Clark would be a surefire way to replenish their stockpile and get some extra picks. Seattle’s general manager John Schneider did insist recently that Wilson’s new deal won’t effect negotiations or impact their willingness to spend big money on Clark. It’s possible the Seahawks weren’t happy with the 21MM-AAV deal that DeMarcus Lawrence got from the Cowboys. Now that Lawrence has reset the market, Clark is likely seeking to top that.

When Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said yesterday that several teams were interested, he also said the matter would “definitely” be resolved before the draft. So if Clark is still a member of the team a week from now, you can expect him to be with the Seahawks in 2019. Last season Clark had 13 sacks, three forced fumbles, two passes defended, and an interception.

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Several Teams Interested In Frank Clark

While it would appear Frank Clark would be a critical part of the Seahawks’ core going forward, being by far the franchise’s top edge rusher, he continues to be mentioned as a trade candidate.

Several teams are interested in Clark, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). This will-they/won’t-they saga will “definitely” be settled by draft time, Rapoport adds.

Pete Carroll said the standout defensive end will be part of the 2019 Seahawks, and the team used its franchise tag for the first time in nine years in order to retain Clark. Negotiations began on a new deal earlier this offseason, and the sides made progress in early March. But it’s not certain if they’ve closed the gap since. It’s possible the Cowboys’ subsequent $21MM-AAV deal for DeMarcus Lawrence has complicated the Clark talks. Like Lawrence did before his extension, Clark has said he will not report to training camp without a new deal.

Clark may be able to fetch a first-round pick. At 25, he is two years younger than Dee Ford — who netted the Chiefs a 2020 second-rounder in a tag-and-trade swap with the 49ers — and has been more consistent. Although Clark became a Week 1 starter for the first time last season, he registered 19 sacks between the 2016-17 slates prior to his 13-sack 2018. But his departure would obviously leave a major hole on Seattle’s depth chart, especially considering the team does not have a surefire starter opposite Clark.

Teams were interested in a Clark tag-and-trade transaction at free agency’s outset, but the Seahawks are believed to only be motivated to move the fifth-year player if they are blown away by an offer. The Seahawks just authorized a record-breaking Russell Wilson contract, but John Schneider said the quarterback’s deal will not impact Clark’s situation. Following the Wilson re-up, the Seahawks hold just more than $9MM in cap space.

Schneider said recently he would like to acquire additional draft capital this year. No team holds fewer than the Seahawks’ six picks. Although Seattle often gains draft picks by trading back in the first round, trading Clark would obviously be a way to procure at least one high-value choice.

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AFC Notes: Raiders, Jets, Draft

Another day, more drama with the Raiders. With only six days to go until the draft, a major stir was caused when Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted that Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock “sent their scouts home for the weekend and they are not expected to return by draft time. The belief is they don’t know who to trust and wanted to clear the room.” The tweet, of course, sparked a lot of panic among Raider fans and allegations of dysfunction within the organization. While Rapoport’s initial tweet was a little vague, it appears not to be as bad as it first seemed.

Albert Breer of SI.com tweeted in response that the “expectation has been that much of the scouting department would be turned over post-draft,” so this apparently wasn’t anything too sudden. Mayock was brought on to replace old GM Reggie McKenzie, and it’s not surprising that he would want to bring in his own guys. Teams usually wait until after the draft though, and the fact the Raiders are making this sudden move suggests there’s a level of paranoia in the building.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • We’ve heard murmurs for a while now that the Jets could consider trading down from the third overall pick, and we now have more confirmation of that. Multiple sources told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY that the Jets are “determined” to trade down from their top pick. One source told Vacchiano that Jets GM Mike Maccagnan is looking to “recoup the second-round pick he gave up last year when the Jets moved up in the draft to get quarterback Sam Darnold.” The Jets already have their franchise quarterback in Darnold, so it makes sense why they’d be looking to move down and stockpile extra picks. Maccagnan had indicated he was open to the idea of moving down in the past, but this is the most concrete confirmation we’ve gotten of that.
  • Speaking of the Jets, don’t expect them to be in on Seahawks pass-rusher Frank Clark if he really is being shopped, according to Richi Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cimini writes that the Jets did have interest in Clark at the start of free agency, but that a trade “seems unlikely under the current circumstances.” The Jets are desperate for pass-rush help, as Cimini points out they haven’t had a player with double-digit sacks since 2015, but it sounds like they won’t be getting it through a trade. If the Jets don’t trade down from the third spot, they’re very likely to draft an edge rusher, like Josh Allen from Kentucky or Nick Bosa from Ohio State if he fell to them.
  • In case you missed it, Browns general manager John Dorsey dished on his team’s offseason.

West Notes: Seahawks, Chiefs, Broncos

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider indicated Russell Wilson‘s four-year, $140MM extension won’t impact the status of franchise-tagged defensive end Frank Clark, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Seattle had already accounted for a new Wilson deal when it decided to tag Clark at a one-year rate of $17.128MM. Schneider also admitted the Seahawks haven’t made a decision on offensive tackle Germain Ifedi‘s fifth-year option for 2020, and singled out linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive tackle Jarran Reed as extension candidates (Twitter links via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com and Condotta).

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Wilson received an NFL-record $65MM signing bonus as part of his new Seahawks contract, but he won’t actually collect all that money immediately. He’ll earn $30MM of the bonus this year with the rest deferred until 2020, per Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter links), who notes this mechanism is common in most quarterback deals. The deferral won’t affect Wilson’s cap charges, as the $65MM will still be prorated over the next five seasons. Corry adds Wilson received better cash flows on his current extension than on his previous four-year, $87.6MM pact.
  • Authorities have recently removed Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill‘s three-year-old son from Hill and his fiancee’s custody, according to Laura Bauer, Brooke Pryor, and Steve Vockrodt of the Kansas City Star. Hill is under investigation for a pair of incidents involving child abuse, but still showed up for workouts earlier this week. The NFL is expected to allow the investigation to unfold before considering discipline for Hill.
  • Broncos free agent signee Kareem Jackson played safety at Denver’s minicamp this week, reports Mike Klis of 9News. Jackson, who can also play corner, spent time at both positions for the Texans in 2018 before inking a three-year, $33MM deal with the Broncos in March. “[T]here’s more to learn at safety than there is at corner,” said Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. “He’s played much more corner in his career, so I wanted him to get more work in this camp – all of his work – at the safety position, to feel comfortable there.”

Extra Points: Clark, Cox, Rivers, Lions, XFL

In extending Russell Wilson, the Seahawks took care of their signature piece of offseason business on Tuesday. But more key contract negotiations loom, with Bobby Wagner entering a contract year and Frank Clark having yet to sign his franchise tender. It appears the trade talk surrounding Clark has not totally died down. This week has produced some chatter around the league about a Clark swap, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweets. This comes shortly after a report indicated the Seahawks rebuffed outside interest in Clark at the outset of free agency and would only trade the impact defensive end if they were overwhelmed by an offer. Clark has said he will not report to Seahawks training camp without a long-term deal, so this obviously qualifies as a situation worth monitoring.

Shifting first to another NFC team’s defensive line, here is the latest from around the American football universe:

  • Fletcher Cox confirmed (via Philly.com’s Les Bowen) he underwent an offseason surgery to repair a foot injury sustained during the Eagles‘ divisional-round loss in New Orleans. The procedure appears to have been done several weeks ago, and while Cox is out of a walking boot, the veteran defensive tackle looks set to miss Philadelphia’s offseason program. His goal is to return by training camp. Cox is coming off his best NFL season, which featured a career-high 10.5 sacks and his first appearance on the All-Pro first team.
  • Also in the NFC East: Ezekiel Elliott did show up for the first day of the Cowboys‘ offseason program, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. So far, so good on the prospects of the Cowboys avoiding a contract-related holdout with their star running back. An Elliott holdout has been rumored, but for now, the fourth-year back is working out with his teammates.
  • Conversely, Philip Rivers did not show up for Day 1 of the Chargers‘ offseason work, Eric Williams of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). The 16th-year quarterback is entering a contract year, but the Bolts view him as an obvious extension candidate. Though, it is not certain if re-up talks have begun. Nevertheless, this does not appear to be a contentious situation.
  • As the deadline for teams to wrap up pre-draft visits approaches, the Lions squeezed in a meeting with Clelin Ferrell, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes (via Twitter). Detroit’s biggest offseason investment went toward its defensive end corps, in Trey Flowers‘ deal, but the Lions have met with other edge prospects as well. Both Brian Burns and L.J. Collier visited the Lions this month. Like Burns, Ferrell grades as a first-round-level prospect.
  • Former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride will resurface in the XFL. The 67-year-old coach will become HC for the XFL’s New York franchise, Jay Glazer of The Athletic tweets. Gilbride has been a head coach twice in his four-decade coaching career, leading the Chargers for 22 games between the 1997-98 seasons and overseeing the Southern Connecticut State program from 1980-84. Gilbride’s most recent NFL role was a seven-year stint as Giants OC, which ended in 2013.

Latest On Frank Clark, Seahawks

It’s been well over a month since we heard that the Seahawks and defensive end Frank Clark were making progress in negotiating a long-term contract. Seattle put the franchise tag on Clark shortly thereafter, which gives the two sides until July 15 to work out a multi-year pact, and Clark said he would not report to training camp without a new deal in place.

DeMarcus Lawrence signed a five-year deal worth over $100MM with the Cowboys last week, and that appeared to provide a benchmark for talks between Seattle and Clark. But still, no news as of yet.

Jay Glazer of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that several teams were interested in trading for Clark at the outset of free agency, but he notes that there has been no trade chatter since then. Glazer adds that the Seahawks love Clark, and that unless the team is overwhelmed by a trade offer, Clark will remain with Seattle. Given Clark’s stance with respect to the franchise tag, it sounds as if he will be getting his big-money, long-term deal before July 15.

Clark, a 2015 second-round pick, has been a fixture in the team’s front seven since the 2016 campaign. In the last three years, he ranks seventh among NFL defensive linemen in sacks (32) and 10th in quarterbacks hits (66). Last season, Pro Football Focus graded Clark as the league’s No. 18 edge defender.

Once the April 15 “deadline” for a new contract with quarterback Russell Wilson passes, perhaps the Seahawks will shift their focus back to Clark.

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