If you remember, Clark was involved in two separate incidents in California, one in March and one in June, in which he was arrested for possession of firearms. Since then, we have been left to speculate as to whether or not Clark would see a suspension at any point this season and whether he would play the full 2021 season.
To recap, we had heard mention of an October date as a time in which we may get answers. The reality, however, is that those dates are likely to get pushed. We are still seeing a huge backlog of cases due to COVID-19 with courts moving to remote appearances. He may have to appear remotely, but it would be nothing more than a status conference.
Additionally, Clark is always able to file paperwork to move court dates due to conflicts. Judges don’t care too much about an NFL player’s schedule, but they also are pretty busy and unlikely to put up a huge fight if a request to move a court date is made.
What does it mean that we’re still waiting on Frank Clark’s legal process?
My best guess is that with all the crickets we have heard, Clark and his lawyers are in the midst of negotiating with the prosecutors on the current charges. They may be looking to accomplish some sort of plea agreement that will allow him to pay a large fine, avoid jail time, and continue on with his life. Until Clark enters an actual plea agreement, however, his “not guilty” plea will remain and he is innocent until proven guilty. That’s just part of our fundamental rights. When he enters the plea (if that is indeed what happens), he will admit to the charges agreed to and the prosecutor will recommend a sentence to the judge.
But what does the NFL do during that time? Nothing. I truly believe the NFL will do nothing. Clark is going to play the full season and if he faces any punishment from the league—which is a big if—it won’t come until next season.
The fact that we haven’t heard anything related to Frank Clark and his criminal charges isn’t all that troubling to me. There are likely a number of behind-the-scenes negotiations going on, and we will never hear about those unless Clark decides to fill us in.
So breathe easy Chiefs Kingdom. Clark will be there come Sunday, ready to bring the rush to Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.