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Seahawks Trade Clark to Chiefs

The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to trade franchise-tagged edge rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The full deal:

Chiefs get:

  • 26-year-old DE Frank Clark, who had 13.0 sacks last year and 32.0 in his last three years. He is currently unsigned, but under the franchise tag at $17 million.
  • Seattle's third-round draft pick (No. 84).

Seahawks get:

  • Kansas City's first-round draft pick (No. 29)
  • Kansas City's third-round draft pick (No. 92)
  • Kansas City's second-round pick in 2020.

Kansas City desperately needed an edge rusher after losing both Justin Houston (who signed with Indianapolis) and Dee Ford (San Francisco) in free agency the offseason. Seattle, which had only four picks in this year's draft until now, desperately needed draft capital -- but now they desperately need an edge rusher. We had defensive line listed as Seattle's biggest need going into the offseason, and it's an even bigger weakness now.

UPDATE: Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs and Clark have agreed to a deal that will make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league.

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8 comments, Last at 23 Apr 2019, 9:19pm

2 Re: Seahawks Trade Clark to Chiefs

Clark is a great pass rusher, but this feels like a lot of money - both in dollars and in draft capital - for a team that could be facing a cap crunch in the near future. I guess this is their version of the Rams' "all-in" plan from last offseason in an effort to win while Mahomes is cheap.

3 Re: Seahawks Trade Clark to Chiefs

Especially since that lost draft capital could be turned into the younger, cheaper players that KC will need to put in the lineup to replace the veterans they have to let go when it does come time to pay Mahomes.

Looks like Seattle got a pretty good deal here, but I wonder a little bit why they didn't want to keep Clark. $21 million/year is obviously a lot of money, but they have tons of future cap room. Even after the Wilson extension, Seattle doesn't actually have that many veteran players primed for big extensions the next couple of offseasons (Bobby Wagner and... ?). Kam Chancellor and Doug Baldwin, two of their four currently highest-paid players, are also probably going to come off the books sooner rather than later. I guess they want the flexibility to make a big FA splash in other areas of the roster instead of committing to a pass rusher?

4 Re: Seahawks Trade Clark to Chiefs

Not a bad trade. I think, once factoring in cost - this was a win for Seahawks. But I'm still not a fan of it overall for either team. Thats a lot of cap space and draft capital and Clark isn't in the same realm as Khalil Mack to justify this is as some kind of all in move. If this really was an all in, why not keep Dee Ford as well?

For the Hawks...its again potential vs certainty. Those picks could become a valuable haul, but we don't know. Meanwhile, we know Clark is good so why take the risk?

6 Re: Seahawks Trade Clark to Chiefs

Sounds great for the Seahawks to me and pretty terrible for the Chiefs, considering they could have simply kept Ford -whom they must hate, I guess. Yes, draft picks are risky and Clark is a sure thing, but this trade gives them a lot of salary cap breathing room after the Russell Wilson extension, and draft picks are pretty cheap.

7 Re: Seahawks Trade Clark to Chiefs

Not to belabor a point I already made, but in terms of cap space - if you assume that Chancellor and Baldwin are not going to be on Seattle's roster next year (about 100% certainty for Chancellor, maybe Baldwin has a better chance to come back), and that the cap rises to ~$200 million, Seattle might be looking at $80 million in cap space going into next off-season. I can only think of one high-priced veteran (Wagner) that they're in line to have to re-sign in the next few years. One of their only other remaining highly-paid players, Duane Brown, is signed through 2021, his age-36 season. I wonder if they're planning on a dramatic free agency splash, or flipping their new haul of picks for new veterans?

8 Re: Seahawks Trade Clark to Chiefs

As a Chiefs fan, I don't like the trade.

First, I don't like the cap hit. Second, I don't like the cost in picks; I think if it had just been a 1st, I could get more comfortable with the football side of it (and maybe SEA wouldn't have made that trade) Third, I don't like Clark's personal history of trouble. After Belcher, Hunt, and possibly Hill, I'd like to see the franchise steer away from risky behavioral issues.

As for Ford, his offsides play is now in the lore of Chiefs' playoffs defeats. From a pure fan perspective, better that I don't see him line up again. That's not relevant to the Clark trade, but clearly Ford and Clark are going to be compared.

I think Clark is better than Ford, even allowing for the greater cap hit. Clark has more sacks and tackles in fewer games and one less season. Clark has been more consistent and more durable. Clark is two years younger, with Ford's age and history of back injury a major factor in Clark's favor, IMO (yes, that's double counting "durable").

And Clark is a proven 4-3 DE. I honestly don't see Ford as a good fit in that scheme and he'd cost too much to be a situational pass rusher. With the Chiefs moving to a 4-3 scheme, I had little problem with them letting him go even though it opened up a big question of where there pass rush would come from.