The Kansas City Chiefs will face a player who helped them win two Super Bowls twice next season when they play the AFC West rival Denver Broncos.
Veteran lineman Frank Clark is reportedly signing a one-year deal worth up to $7.5 million to join head coach Sean Payton in Denver, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Clark will receive a base salary of $5.5 million with $1 million in “makeable incentives” and another $1 million in more challenging incentives.
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Clark was released by the Chiefs after the organization and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, couldn’t work out a new deal. They tried, but ESPN reported in March that they were at a stalemate, and the Chiefs bit the bullet.
Clark was about to enter the final year of a $30 million, two-year deal he signed with Kansas City, but the Chiefs ended up saving $21 million in salary cap space.
While looking for his next team, Clark and Payton “hit it off” earlier this week while speaking on the phone, Schefter reported.
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“The situation with Sean Payton is good for me,” he told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson. “I get to play alongside Randy Gregory and stay in my division that I am very familiar with. I also want to help the Broncos get back to the mountain top.”
Clark, who will soon turn 30, totaled five sacks with 39 combined tackles, one forced fumble and eight tackles for loss in 15 regular-season games last year for the Chiefs. He also had 2½ sacks and seven combined tackles during the team’s Super Bowl LVII victory run.
Clark ranks third in league history in total postseason sacks with 13½, most of them with the Chiefs. In 2020, he had five sacks during the Chiefs' run to the Super Bowl, a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
It was a tough year for Clark last season despite the Chiefs’ success, though.
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He was suspended two games in October after pleading no contest to weapons charges. He was arrested in March 2021 when cops found two guns in his car after he was pulled over while riding in a vehicle with another man without a license plate. Three months later, he was arrested again on another gun charge.
Clark was eventually sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service.
After this year's Super Bowl win, Clark sobbed tears of joy.
“I’m just excited, man. Overfilled with joy,” he told Fox’s Peter Schrager. “I had a rough year, man. Been a rough one. My teammates, they never lost faith in me. Just thankful. I’m extremely humble and thankful. I’ve got some of the best teammates in the world.”
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Clark will start a new chapter now and hopes he can be a force for a team that struggled mightily last season despite adding Russell Wilson at quarterback. The Broncos finished last in the AFC West with a 5-12 record.