Frank Clark is no longer a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, but that might not be the case for long. According to a report by NFL Network’s James Palmer, both the Chiefs and Clark are interested in a reunion, albeit at a much reduced cost. However, the veteran edge rusher might find a new home, as there are supposedly multiple teams interested in the postseason hero.
The #chiefs plan to release pass rusher Frank Clark per source. There is the chance he returns to KC. The relationship between Clark and Andy Reid is a special one. But Clark should get plenty of interest on the open market considering his ability to make game changing plays
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) March 6, 2023
Chiefs Want Frank Clark Back, But Face Competition
It’s not hard to figure out why Kansas City would want to bring back Frank Clark. The former second-round pick was probably their best pass rusher last year, finishing the season with five sacks, 39 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, and 13 quarterback hits. As is always the case, he turned his game up a notch in the playoffs, recording 2.5 sacks, seven tackles, and four quarterback hits during Kansas City’s three-game run to yet another championship. Yes, 2022 was a relative down year, but he was still a good player.
Unfortunately, you need to be more than just a good player to justify a $28 million cap hit. There are only a handful of non-quarterbacks that can justify that type of money, and Clark is not one of them. The Chiefs cleared $21 million by parting ways, and that was an objectively smart move. The two sides reportedly tried to negotiate a new contract to minimize the cap hit, but this was inevitable at the end of the day.
Palmer points out that both Clark and Reid have a lot of respect for each other, and it shouldn’t be too hard to give Clark a contract that would still result in a net gain of cap space. However, now that he’s on the open market, there is a chance that Clark will earns a bigger payday somewhere else.
Who Else Could Sign Frank Clark?
Every team in the league could use another pass rusher, so it wouldn’t be a terrible surprise to see any of the 32 NFL organizations make a run at the three-time Pro Bowler. However, when factoring in Clark’s age and spending money, there are a few favorites.
Let’s start with the Baltimore Ravens. While the Lamar Jackson saga is clearly the most pressing issue at hand, the fact remains that this team needs to get better at getting to the quarterback. After all, that is a necessity when you share a division with Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson. Clark would immediately help fill that void, and if the Ravens aren’t paying Jackson, then they’ll have a lot of money to spend on the defense.
Moving to the NFC, the Detroit Lions are a team on the rise. The team went 9-8 last year despite first-round pick Jameson Williams missing the vast majority of the season, and they should only get better in 2023. The defense was a colossal wreck last year, but pairing Clark with a budding young star in Aidan Hutchinson could create a pretty fearsome pass rush.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence is the real deal, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Clark wants to play alongside one of the best young quarterbacks in football. Occupying a weak AFC South, the Jaguars should have a clear path to the playoffs and could easily be Super Bowl contenders with a strong enough offseason.
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