Chiefs’ Andy Reid Sends Heartfelt Message to Frank Clark After Release

Andy Reid

Getty Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid after the 2023 Super Bowl.

The Kansas City Chiefs officially released veteran defensive end Frank Clark on March 7.

“Forever a Kansas City Chief @TheRealFrankC_ ❤️,” the franchise’s Twitter account wrote. “Thank you for everything, 55.”

Not long after, team reporter Matt McMullen shared the thoughts of head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach, who both spoke fondly on the two-time Super Bowl champion’s tenure in KC.

“Frank is a special player and person,” Reid began, in what was a very heartfelt message. “You were able to see his play on the field, but if you talk to him, you realize how incredible his heart is. Frank gave us all his energy, he invested time in our younger players to help them grow, and it just shows you how passionate he is about the game. He’ll always be a part of our history here and we appreciate the work he put in to help get us there.”

Veach praised Clark as well, voicing candidly: “It’s really hard to put into words what Frank has meant to our organization over the last four seasons. When we traded for him before the 2019 season, he came here with the goal of winning championships. We went to three Super Bowls in four seasons and won two of those, and there is no doubt that Frank was a significant part of bringing those Lombardi Trophies to Kansas City. ‘The Shark’ cemented his legacy here in Chiefs Kingdom with his play and his personality. These decisions are never easy, but we wish him the best as he continues his career.”

Is Frank Clark Truly Done as a Chief?

There have been some rumors swirling that Kansas City could still pursue Clark in free agency — so long as his market allows it.

NFL Network reporter James Palmer tweeted on March 6: “The chiefs plan to release pass rusher Frank Clark per source. There is the chance he returns to KC. The relationship between Clark and Andy Reid is a special one. But Clark should get plenty of interest on the open market considering his ability to make game changing plays.”

The Athletic’s Nate Taylor shared a similar belief during a recent article, voicing that “the Chiefs will be competitive in the open market to re-sign Clark [at a lower salary after releasing him].”

Worst case scenario, if they do indeed lose “The Shark” to another suitor, there are already a number of options to replace him in free agency and the draft.

Saints Free Agent Marcus Davenport Linked to Chiefs Again

For the second time this offseason, an analyst named New Orleans Saints free agent Marcus Davenport as a candidate to replace Clark in 2023. On this occurrence, it was Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders who suggested him (via ESPN).

Frank Clark [has been released] and Carlos Dunlap is a free agent, which means the Chiefs need a new edge rusher to play opposite George Karlaftis,” wrote Schatz. “Why not make a splash with the top young edge rusher in free agency? Davenport.”

He continued, reasoning: “Who wouldn’t want to play for the defending Super Bowl champions and make another run with Patrick Mahomes? The only problem is keeping the 26-year-old Davenport healthy, as he has never played more than 13 games in a season. But ignore his minuscule total of 0.5 sacks in 2022; SIS charting has Davenport with only slightly fewer hurries (25 to 22) and the same number of hits (22) that he had in two more games in 2021. Those numbers strongly suggest that Davenport will rebound in the sack department in 2023.”

The former Saints first rounder is certainly an option, but the Chiefs could also draft another edge rusher in round one to compliment Karlaftis. If they hit on that, KC would be set at the position for the next four to five years.

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