Frank Clark

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details, Reactions To DeMarcus Lawrence Extension

Last night, the Cowboys and star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence agreed to a lucrative five-year contract extension. The deal is expected to be worth around $105MM ($65MM guaranteed), with others noting that the pass-rusher will definitely earn more than $20MM annually.

Now that the pass-rusher has inked his new contract, he’s set to go under the knife. Albert Breer of TheMMQB reports (via Twitter) that Lawrence will finally undergo shoulder surgery. The procedure is expected to take place next week.

Lawrence has been dealing with a torn labrum for the better part of two years, and recovery time is expected to take three to four months. As a result, the defender will likely be sidelined until training camp.

Let’s check out some more notes pertaining to Lawrence’s new contract…

  • Lawrence also received a $25MM signing bonus, reports David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). This probably helped to make up some of the discrepancy between the final contract and Lawrence’s asking price, as the lineman was reportedly seeking a contract that would pay him around $22.5MM per year. As Jon Machota of the Dallas News tweets, Lawrence will ultimately earn $31.1MM in the first year of the deal. For comparison’s sake, Khalil Mack earned $31MM last season.
  • According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the two sides made major strides on Thursday evening. Executive vice president Stephen Jones talked with Lawrence on the phone, and the two parties talked through any monetary issues. Less than 24 hours later, the two sides agreed to a deal.
  • NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says the Lawrence contract is good news for Texans star Jadeveon Clowney and Seahawks standout Frank Clark (Twitter link). The reporter believes the two players now have parameters set for any future extensions, noting that the franchised pass-rushers could also expect to receive $20MM annually.

Frank Clark Won’t Report To Training Camp Without Extension

Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark has no intention of signing his franchise tag or reporting to training camp unless he receives an extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Clark was one of five pass-rushers to receive the franchise tender last week, but he may have been the closest of the group to reaching a long-term agreement. Reports just before the tag deadline indicated Seattle was progressing on a new deal with Clark, so there may be some momentum in discussions. The Seahawks have until July 15 to work out a extension with Clark — if they don’t, he’ll be forced to play out the 2019 campaign under the franchise tender.

A former second-round pick, Clark will collect $17.128MM for the 2019 season, a total which will become fully guaranteed once he signs his tag. While that’s a hefty total for a single season, it doesn’t represent Clark’s true value on the open market, or what he’s likely searching for via an extension. While he’s probably not going to exceed Khalil Mack‘s $23.5MM annual average, Clark could feel secure in targeting a $20MM+ yearly salary on a long-term pact.

Clark, 25, has been a wrecking ball over the past three seasons, ranking seventh among NFL defensive linemen in sacks (32) and 10th in quarterbacks hits (66) during that time. Last year, Pro Football Focus graded Clark as the league’s No. 18 edge defender.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Use Franchise Tag On Frank Clark

Teams are settling their franchise tag business on Monday. The Seahawks are the latest team to do so, with Albert Breer of SI.com reporting (via Twitter) the team has made the decision to apply the tag to Frank Clark.

Decisions for Clark’s and DeMarcus Lawrence‘s tags have come within the past hour, and the Texans franchised Jadeveon Clowney earlier today. The Chiefs and Buccaneers are using their tags on Dee Ford and Donovan Smith, respectively. Teams have until 3pm CT Tuesday to use their franchise tags.

Like the other moves, Seattle’s Clark decision was expected. Pete Carroll confirmed at the Combine the 25-year-old defensive end would be a Seahawk in 2019. The sides are already progressing on talks, and this deal may be one that gets done before the July 15 deadline.

The Michael Bennett/Cliff Avril sidekick had consistently shown he had higher-end pass-rushing abilities off the bench, and in his first full season as a starter, Clark broke out for 13 sacks — more than Bennett or Avril recorded in a season during their Seattle stays. Clark has 35 career sacks, combining for 19 between the 2016 and ’17 seasons. Although the Seahawks let numerous Super Bowls-era bastions go last year, Clark appears part of the organization’s long-term plans.

Clark has not resisted the tag and appears likely to sign his tender and attend offseason workouts. Tagging Clark will cost the Seahawks $17.128MM, which will be deducted from the team’s $49.8MM in cap space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks, Frank Clark Progressing On Deal

One member of the free agent pass rusher contingent that will not be permitted to reach the market, Frank Clark may be on the verge of reaching a long-term agreement with the Seahawks.

The sides are making progress on a new deal, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (on Twitter). The Seahawks have until 3pm Tuesday to determine whether Clark will be their franchise player.

Pete Carroll said this week Clark will be a Seahawk in 2019, so the team will tag the 25-year-old standout if no agreement is reached by Tuesday afternoon. The long-rumored tag scenario — officially worth $17.128MM — would eat into Seattle’s $49.8MM in cap space.

Clark joins Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford and perhaps Grady Jarrett and Trey Flowers as candidates for that $17MM-plus figure. DeMarcus Lawrence‘s tag will be worth just more than $20MM. Clark has been more consistent than Ford and produced a better statistical season than Flowers or Clowney has, though the latter is a higher-profile player because of his all-around game and draft pedigree. It may take a $20MM-plus-AAV pact to keep him long-term.

The Seahawks did not authorize even a $10MM-per-year pact with Michael Bennett or Cliff Avril, so it would be interesting to see how far the team goes for Clark — who backed up this duo for much of his first three years in the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Clark, Tate, Rosen, Alexander

The Seahawks started talking contract with star defensive end and free agent-to-be Frank Clark last month, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks will not let Clark get away. If the two sides cannot work out a long-term deal in the next couple of weeks, Seattle will put the franchise tag — valued at roughly $18MM for defensive ends — on the 25-year-old. That will at least buy them until July to come to terms on a multiyear pact, which could have a total value of up to $90MM. Clark, though, appears perfectly willing to play out the 2019 campaign on the one-year franchise tender, which would make him eligible for free agency again next year.

Let’s round up a few more items from the NFC:

  • It does not appear that the Eagles will re-sign Golden Tate before free agency opens next month, Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk opines. Alper does not cite a source, but a recent tweet from Tate himself and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman‘s silence on the matter suggest that Tate will be looking for a new home soon. Tate has indicated he would like to be back in Philly, but given the Eagles’ tight salary cap situation, that could be a tall order, especially if Tate is still seekingJarvis Landry-type deal.
  • Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury continues to dismiss the speculation connecting Kyler Murray to Arizona. Many pundits believe Murray would thrive in Kingsbury’s offense, but Kingsbury insists that the team is committed to last year’s first-round pick, Josh Rosen (Twitter link via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com). Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic tweets that team president Michael Bidwill is also adamant that his club will not pursue Murray (at least not with the No. 1 overall pick).
  • Budda Baker has functioned as the Cardinals‘ slot corner, but new DC Vance Joseph said that Baker will be moved back to his natural safety position in 2019 (Twitter link via Mike Jurecki of AZCardinals.com).
  • Despite the torn ACL that ended Kwon Alexander‘s season in October, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com believes Alexander will cash in, though it may not be with the Buccaneers. Laine says that Tampa Bay was not willing to pay $10MM per year for Alexander even before the ACL tear, though she believes that other teams will be happy to hit that figure. Given that Alexander appears to be progressing well in his recovery, Laine thinks his market will be robust (Twitter links).