Frank Clark listed as the KC Chiefs worst contract

Frank Clark #55 of the Kansas City Chiefs . (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
Frank Clark #55 of the Kansas City Chiefs . (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of big-name players and number of significant football decisions to make this offseason because of the financial costs involved in their presence on the roster together. One of the biggest decisions is around pass rusher and defensive end Frank Clark.

A recent column from Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballantine calls out the single worst contract on every NFL team and it’s not surprising in the slightest that Clark’s deal is listed under the Chiefs’ heading. After all, general manager Brett Veach handed him an incredibly lucrative deal after trading for him and the escalation these days is enormous.

This season, the cap hit for Clark was the single highest cap total for any non-quarterback in the NFL. In fact only six quarterbacks were scheduled for a bigger cap hit in 2021 than Clark at $25.8M: Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Ben Roethlisberger. Even scarier is that this total only climbs higher for each of the next two seasons.

It’s not a big surprise that Frank Clark’s mammoth deal is considered the Chiefs’ worst contract at the present time.

This is the cost of shoving money down Into the bottom of the proverbial bag when organizing the deal. The Chiefs knew this, of course, but it makes for a tough pill to swallow when the first year of such a large contract lands at $6.5 million and three others eclipse the $25 million mark.

Here’s the conundrum for the Chiefs. First, there’s no easy way out of this deal. There’s a load of dead cap space that comes with just setting Clark free. Second, the Chiefs don’t exactly have a ton of proven pass rushers on the roster already. They need Clark, much as they’d like him to cost less.

Even more important is the fact that Clark’s deal is going to start look normal in terms of the market as years go by. Already, Clark will be the third-highest cap hit among defensive ends in 2022 and that’s before any further extensions are signed or new deals in free agency. While Clark is getting paid more, the truth is that he’s dropping in terms of his market position from the highest cap hit of any defender in the NFL to the top three at his position. As Ballantine notes:

"“That’s the going price for an elite edge-rusher. The problem is that Clark hasn’t been that for the Chiefs.”"

If the Chiefs want someone to fill the role Clark is supposed to fill, then they have to pay someone this much anyway. And they already have Clark as someone around whom they have to plan. How does a team stomach the costs of ridding themselves of one lucrative deal deemed not worth it and then sign someone else for that same rate? The truth is they likely don’t.

The best way forward here would likely be to come to some terms on a renegotiation, realizing just how crippling this deal could be in some respects. That said, Clark isn’t a bust at his position. If the Chiefs moved on, in other words, they would lose very real production.. It’s just that he’s so expensive that the production doesn’t match.

Here’s the thing, if the Chiefs are raising a Lombardi at the end of this road they’re on, none of these costs will matter. Clark is a menace in the postseason and has proven himself capable of carrying this team defensively when they need it. Maybe that’s the best way to justify this deal in the end and just eat the costs knowing it’s all part of the championship package.

Next. The best Chiefs players to never win a Super Bowl. dark