Chiefs Make Long-Term Commitment to Polarizing Defender: Report

Arrowhead Stadium

Getty Arrowhead Stadium, where Armani Watts played for the last four seasons.

The Kansas City Chiefs have decided to not only keep defensive end Frank Clark, but they also saved some cap space in the process via a restructured contract.

The three-time Pro Bowl defender and Kansas City agreed to a restructured contract, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Clark’s re-worked deal is for two years and $29 million, with a maximum payout of $36 million, per Rapoport.

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Before the restructure, Clark was on the books with a $26.3 million cap hit for 2022, according to OverTheCap. If Kansas City wanted to cut him pre-June 1 on that contract, the team would have taken on $13.6 million in dead money. However, restructuring Clark’s deal (based on what we know right now about the contract) means the Chiefs owe Clark about $14.5 million annually. So, it costs the team roughly $1.1 million more to keep Clark instead of cutting him.

Based on the known terms of Clark’s restructured deal, the Chiefs free up roughly $11.56 million in cap space with the re-worked contract, according to Matt Verderame of FanSided.

Last season, Clark played in 14 regular-season games, recording 17 QB hits, 4.5 sacks, and four tackles for loss, per Pro Football Reference, which earned him a Pro Bowl nod for the third consecutive season. During three playoff games, he recorded four tackles, one tackle for loss, and one fumble recovery.


Chiefs Re-Sign Fullback to One-Year Deal

In the hours following the opening of the legal tampering period in the NFL, there was only one roster addition the Chiefs made, and it was a move to retain one of their own.

Kansas City re-signed fullback Michael Burton to a one-year deal, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network on March 15.

Burton, 30, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2015. He spent two seasons in Detroit before jumping ship and playing for the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New Orleans Saints. Burton joined Kansas City last offseason and played in a total of 16 regular season games — 94 offensive snaps and 207 special team snaps — during the 2021 season, according to Pro Football Reference.

Burton re-signing with the Chiefs was the lone move for Kansas City during the day, however, the Chiefs made a bit of a splash overnight on March 15, which we wrote about in a separate piece on Heavy.


Twitter Reacts to Clark’s Restructured Deal

Twitters users reacted to the Chiefs opting to restructured the deal, which keeps him in Kansas City for a couple more years.

“So the Chiefs are paying $1m extra this year to roster Frank Clark, compared to an all-out cut. If no crazy extra guarantees were added to the deal, I don’t know how anyone would think that’s anything other than a win,” Connor Christopherson of FanNation wrote.

“A deal that makes sense for everyone involved. Frank Clark + another pass rusher > Frank Clark’s dead money + another pass rusher. KC isn’t just stopping with thjs,” Chase Snyder of Texan Live wrote.

“I totally understand ‘Spags sticks with veterans for too long’ as a concern on Frank Clark. If Clark stinks and holds back a young guy, we can criticize them for that when it happens. But it’s probably worth a milli for him to go out there and set an edge and eat some snaps,” Joshua Brisco of FanNation wrote.

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Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown
4 months ago

The Clark restructure is for two years. Instead of having no 2023 Clark obligation (if they had bit the bullet and been done with Clark this year), the Chiefs have made a large 2023 commitment for a modest talent. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

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