NFL rumors: Chiefs making huge cap-cutting move after talks fall through
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Frank Clark. (Troy Taormina – USA Today Sports)
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The Chiefs were unable to secure a restructured deal for defensive end Frank Clark, and it now looks likely that they will release the playoff star to save a significant portion of the cover space.
Frank Clark has played in two different Chiefs Super Bowl runs. It doesn’t look like he’ll be around for a third.
Clark and Kansas City were in talks aimed at restructuring his deal in the off-season but “couldn’t find common ground,” according to Adam Schefter.
Results? The chiefs are expected to release Clark.
Chiefs’ Eric Burkhardt and agent Frank Clarke were unable to find common ground on a redrafted deal during several talks on the set, and the expectation now is that Kansas City will release the 29-year-old DE who is the third-best player of all time in Major League Soccer. American football. Kiss… https://t.co/IqjwATIWSt
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2023
The Chiefs would save a lot of space by releasing Frank Clarke
Clark was scheduled to become a free agent in 2024. By releasing him now, KC will save $21 million in cap space while eating $7.7 million in dead money.
That kind of savings would help Kansas City navigate free agency in the offseason, but losing Clark to get it may be a hard pill to swallow considering his impact on the Chief’s recent postseason successes.
Clark had 2.5 sacks during the 2023 playoff run, adding to his career total of 13.5. He ranks third in NFL history in postseason sacks. He had five total sacks during the playoffs when the Chiefs capped off their 2019 season with a win in Super Bowl LIV.
Clark’s success in the regular season has been a bit more muted. He earned Pro Bowl nods in 2019, 2020, and 2021 but missed last season. He had 39 tackles, eight tackles for loss and five sacks in 2022.
It’s been a great run for Clarke and the Chiefs but contract negotiations are what they are, especially for a 29-year-old who has dealt with injuries and legal issues in the past couple of years.
Kansas City must now figure out how to replace Clark’s influence in the biggest games. It won’t be easy. And his absence is not the only gap they will need to fill.