by John Unrein
The Kansas City Chiefs continued the facelift of their defense this week with the addition of Defensive End Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks. The Chiefs sent the 29th overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft, along with a 2020 second round draft pick (which ever pick ends up being lower of the two second round picks the Chiefs possess; one of which was acquired in the trade of Dee Ford to the 49ers) as well as swapping 3rd round picks (Chiefs gain the 84th overall pick and Seattle gets the 92nd overall pick) with the Seahawks in this year’s draft as compensation for Clark.
Clark immediately cashed in with the Chiefs signing a new five-year contract worth $105.5 million with $63.5 million guaranteed according to the National Football League website. Pro Football Focus ranked Clark as the 18th best defensive end in the league last year with an overall score of 77.4. Clark was a Pro Bowl alternate as well last season and solidifies the defensive end position for the organization.
Among Clark’s most desirable traits are his get off from the line of scrimmage, the power he possesses in his hands, and the repertoire of pass rush moves he’s assembled for effective use. The latter allowed Clark to compile 13 sacks last year and 35 overall during his career. Not a bad start for Clark who will turn 26 in June and entering his fifth season in the league.
The Seahawks applied the franchise tag to Clark this offseason but were at a crossroads of what to do with him. Seattle had to choose who to pay this offseason and next with Russell Wilson receiving an extension and Jarran Reed and Bobby Wagner coming up on free agency. They couldn’t afford to pay everyone and decided to move Clark with only four picks heading into the draft prior to the trade.
Clark does not come to his new team with a clean slate off the field. He was arrested and prosecuted for a domestic violence charge in 2014. Clark reached a plea agreement and was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Clark issued a public apology to Seahawks reporter Natalie Weiner in 2017 for his alleged comments. Several NFL teams cited prior to him being drafted that he has worked to overcome a difficult upbringing.
Clark will be teamed with the likes of fellow defensive lineman Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Xavier Williams, Breeland Speaks, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Alex Okafor. The Chiefs no doubt hope that this group can replace the production of departed linebackers Justin Houston and Dee Ford. The duo combined for 22 sacks last season.
It will be interesting to see who else the Chiefs add in the draft this week to complete the offseason facelift of their defense, as they continue their transformation to the 4-3 under Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.