Update to original story (12:57 p.m. April 23, 2019): The Chiefs on Tuesday were finalizing a trade that would send Seattle defensive end Frank Clark to the Chiefs, a league source told The Star.
With the No. 29 pick in the NFL Draft later this week, the Chiefs can add a major difference-maker to their roster for the upcoming season.
That player, though, doesn’t necessarily have to be a member of the 2019 draft class.
The Chiefs are one of four teams who have inquired about Seattle defensive end Frank Clark, a league source told The Star.
The asking price for Clark is steep and would include a first-round pick as a part of a trade package. Per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Seahawks are asking for a second-round pick in addition to a first-round selection. The Chiefs have two second-round picks at their disposal this year thanks to the Marcus Peters trade from a year ago.
Clark’s upside is undeniable — that much is evident just seconds into a compilation of his 2018 highlights. In less than three seconds, Clark stunted inside, shoved aside Broncos center Matt Paradis and mauled quarterback Case Keenum to the ground.
That was just one of his 13 sacks in 2018.
With the Chiefs shedding 19 sacks in the departures of Dee Ford and Justin Houston, there’s an obvious need for a premiere pass rusher in KC. The Chiefs have added pieces to fill some of that void with the signing of Alex Okafor and the trade for Emmanuel Ogbah. But Clark would instantly solidify the position in a big way.
Adding Clark, though, doesn’t come without risk. Not only is there the matter of working out a long-term deal with the franchise-tagged Clark, but the defensive end also has off-the-field issues in his past.
Though he’s stayed out of trouble since being picked by Seattle in the second round of the 2015 draft, Clark pleaded guilty to felony home-invasion charges in 2012 for stealing a MacBook Air laptop from a floormate in his Michigan dorm, and he was involved in a November 2014 domestic violence incident. Clark missed one week of practice and a game as a sophomore for the home invasion arrest and was dismissed from the team following the domestic violence charge two years later.
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. He was dismissed from the Michigan football team two days later. Clark’s charges were reduced to fourth-degree persistent disorderly conduct and he completed a 25-week domestic violence course along with paying court costs and fines.
Since then, Clark hasn’t had any known legal issues.
He got in hot water for a 2017 tweet he sent at a female reporter for a 2015 blog post she re-shared in which she wrote about Clark’s domestic violence history and the Seahawks decision to draft him.
“People like you don’t have long careers in your field,” Clark wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “I have a job for you cleaning my fish tank when that lil job is ova @natalieweiner.”
Clark later issued two apologies, the second of which was lengthier and geo-tagged at the Seahawks’ headquarters.
While the Chiefs are considering making a major trade for Clark, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. thinks the Chiefs should hang on to that No. 29 pick and use it on a cornerback like LSU’s Greedy Williams or Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin.
“I think they have to get a corner,” Kiper said. “The way the draft should flow, I don’t think you’ll have a corner come off the board til 20 when the Steelers are up. Between 20 and 32, you’ll probably have between three to four corners selected with the Chiefs being one of those teams. I just think the board will flow the way they need it to make cornerback a spot that they can feel pretty good about acquiring one of those players.”