Frank Clark

Extra Points: Eagles, Gordon, Mahomes

Running back Jordan Howard had somewhat of a breakout game last week during the Eagles’ win over the Bills, and now he’ll have a chance at revenge when he takes on the Bears on Sunday. Chicago, of course, shipped him off to Philly back in March. Howard got less and less productive toward the end of his time in Chicago, and he’s clearly enjoyed the change of scenery. Speaking to the media recently, the fourth-year back and impending free agent said he knows exactly where he wants to sign in the offseason. “I would love to be back,” Howard said, per Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports. “I’m loving Philly. So I would definitely love to be back. I’m loving my teammates and the city. I would definitely love to be back.” Howard turned 25 today (happy birthday Jordan), and has formed a solid one-two punch with rookie Miles Sanders. The Eagles’ running game has been a weakness the past couple of years, but it seems like things could finally be turning a corner.

Here’s more from around the league as we await kickoff:

  • The Seahawks were awarded Josh Gordon off waivers earlier this week, and some were surprised he lasted that long. Seattle was the only team willing to take the plunge though, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network passed along in a tweet that the Seahawks were the only team to submit a claim. They were 28th in the order, so that isn’t too shocking. Gordon won’t play this weekend, but with Tyler Lockett and promising rookie D.K. Metcalf also in the fold, the Seahawks quietly have one of the league’s more talented receiving corps.
  • While the Seahawks were the only team to try and claim Gordon off waivers, they would’ve faced significant competition had he hit the open market. Nine teams wanted to bring Gordon in for a workout and a physical, his agent told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Florio points out that teams might’ve thought they could get Gordon for cheaper than his $2MM salary if they waited until after he cleared waivers. The fact that so many teams wanted to see him workout before adding him also suggests there might be some lingering concern about his knee injury that cause him to go on injured reserve in the first place.
  • For a while it’s been assumed that the Chiefs aren’t going to rush Patrick Mahomes back and play him on Sunday against the Vikings, but that’s apparently not set in stone. There is still a chance Mahomes will suit up, sources told Ed Werder of ESPN (Twitter link). It would still be pretty surprising, and for now it’s safe to assume Matt Moore will be under center for the second consecutive week. In other Kansas City news, Werder writes that stud defensive tackle Chris Jones is expected to be active, and that the team is “hopeful” on star pass-rusher Frank Clark. Obviously Mahomes is the biggest name, but those would be two huge get-backs for their defense for this suddenly pivotal game. The Chiefs have lost three of their last four and now sit at just 5-3.

West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Johnson

The Bryce Callahan situation is moving closer toward the Broncos not seeing him on the field this season. After a report surfaced indicating the offseason signing now may miss the season, Vic Fangio said (via the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran, on Twitter) seeing Callahan on the field this year has become a 50-50 proposition. Fangio said earlier this week he was hopeful his former Bears pupil would suit up in 2019. The Broncos signed both Callahan and Kareem Jackson to patch up their secondary, but the former continues to struggle to shake off the foot trouble that ended his 2018 season early. With contract-year standout Chris Harris still a trade candidate, though a player that may end up staying, the Broncos’ long-term cornerback situation is in as bleak of a place since before the franchise’s 2004 Champ Bailey acquisition.

Here is the latest from the West divisions, shifting first to another key Broncos signing:

  • Denver’s Ja’Wuan James investment has gone almost as poorly as its Callahan addition. James suffered an injury in the first quarter of the Broncos’ Week 1 game and has missed every snap since. However, the well-paid right tackle is expected to start this week, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. James is believed to be set to play in a part-time capacity, with a three-tackle rotation between he, Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson in the cards. Wilkinson has started the past six Broncos games at right tackle.
  • In addition to Patrick Mahomes‘ Week 8 absence, the Chiefs will be without Frank Clark. The team declared its top defensive end out with a neck injury. Chris Jones, Kendall Fuller and Eric Fisher will miss another game as well. Clark broke out for a dominant performance against Bolles in Kansas City’s Week 7 win, but the offseason acquisition will have to wait until at least Week 9 to build on that performance.
  • However, the Chiefs will have Sammy Watkins back. The oft-injured wide receiver suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5, but ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher notes he will play against the Packers. In Year 2 of a $16MM-AAV deal, Watkins has not caught a pass since Week 4.
  • David Johnson enters this week’s Cardinals game in the same place he did the past two games: as a game-time decision. Kliff Kingsbury said (via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban, on Twitter) the former All-Pro back does not need practice to suit up for a game, but with Chase Edmonds playing well in relief, this shapes up as a true game-time call. Johnson suited up for Week 7 but spent most of his afternoon on the sideline. Both Christian Kirk and Jordan Hicks are game-day calls as well.

AFC Notes: Dareus, Broncos, Green, Chiefs, Darnold

Marcell Dareus will undergo surgery today to repair a core muscle injury, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The defensive lineman is expected to miss 4-6 weeks for Jaguars.

Here’s more around the AFC:

  • Broncos coach Vic Fangio said it was “possible” that CB Bryce Callahan will miss the rest of the season, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets. Callaham underwent stem cell treatment on his foot last month and the original projection was 4-to-6 weeks.
  • A.J. Green did not practice today for the Bengals and isn’t expected to play against the Rams in London, Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets. LT Cordy Glenn will also not play in the contest.
  • DE Frank Clark (neck), DT Chris Jones (groin), LB Darron Lee (illness) and CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) all missed practice for the Chiefs today, Herbie Teope of Kansas City.com tweets. Patrick Mahomes is practicing again for the second-straight day.
  • Sam Darnold was limited in practice today, Brian Costello of the New York Post relays (Twitter link). Darnold was a non-participant for the Jets on Wednesday because of a toe ailment.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.