Chiefs offseason free agent signings and roster moves
The Chiefs have a premier pass rusher.
The Chiefs on Tuesday finalized a trade sending Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark to Kansas City in exchange for draft picks, then quickly moved to sign him to a new five-year contract.
The Chiefs will send their 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick to Seattle and swap third-round picks with the Seahawks. In the swap, the Chiefs will get the No. 84 overall pick while Seattle will have the No. 92 pick. Seattle will also get the lower of the Chiefs’ 2020 second-round picks, one of which was acquired when the Chiefs traded Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers.
Clark, 25, was franchise-tagged by the Seahawks earlier this year. The Chiefs managed to work out a monster deal with Clark that surpasses the extension given to Dallas’ Demarcus Lawrence. The Chiefs and Clark have agreed to a five-year, $105.5 million contract with $63.5 million guaranteed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that Clark had this to say about being acquired by the Chiefs, tweeting the following quote from the defensive lineman:
“I feel like I’m good. I wanted to be somewhere where I’m wanted, where I’m appreciated. I thank God that KC came in & showed that...In life u just want to be shown that you are appreciated sometimes & I feel like this was one of those things.”
In adding Clark, the Chiefs continue a defensive overhaul that began with the hiring of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to supplant Bob Sutton. Since losing the AFC Championship in overtime, the Chiefs have parted ways with five defensive starters from that game, including Ford and Justin Houston.
To fill those holes and reshape the defense to Spagnuolo’s specifications, the Chiefs opened free agency on a signing spree, adding safety Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback Bashaud Breeland, defensive end Alex Okafor and linebacker Damien Wilson, among others. KC also pulled off a trade sending safety Eric Murray to the Browns for defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.
With those moves, the Chiefs figure to have five new starters when they open the 2019 season against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Clark was Seattle’s second-round pick in the 2015 draft, and he has 35 career sacks. In his final season with the Seahawks, Clark finished tied for seventh in the league with 13 sacks and eighth with 27 hurries. He also forced four fumbles last season and had a 26-yard interception return in a close loss to the Rams.
Clark will wear No. 55, Ford’s old number, in KC. In his first comments since the trade, as relayed by Anderson in tweets, Clark expressed disappointment that he couldn’t get a deal done with his old team.
“They had other plans,” Clark told Anderson. “It got to a point where Seattle had used me for everything I had for them already. At the end of the day, it’s a business. ... Look down the history. ... When you’re playing in Seattle it’s not common that they plan to have players around for the long run. It’s obvious. It’s evident ... but I’m blessed and thankful to be part of their organization. John (Schneider) and Pete (Carroll) drafted (me) back in 2015. It just sucks that we weren’t able to get something done because they knew how I felt about being in Seattle and how I felt about my future, and I feel like at the end of the day it was all ignored. But it is part of the business. ... and you have to play your cards right in this game.”
Though Clark is undoubtedly a difference-maker on the field, terrorizing opposing quarterbacks with size, speed and physicality that will flourish in Spanguolo’s 4-3 defense, he doesn’t come without baggage.
Clark, then a senior, was arrested and charged with first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence and assault after an altercation with his then-girlfriend at a Sandusky, Ohio hotel. Charges against him were later reduced to fourth-degree persistent disorderly conduct and he completed a 25-week domestic violence course and paid court costs and fines.
Since then, Clark hasn’t had any known legal issues.