It seems like a familiar face is all but set to return to Kansas City.
If you listen closely, you can almost hear the dramatic, ominous music from Jaws that heralded the arrival of the enormous great white shark. Only this time, the music is signaling the coming of a different kind of apex predator: Frank "The Shark" Clark.
Clark was released by the Denver Broncos on Friday, four months after signing a one-year, $7.5 million deal. He played just two games in blue and orange, both losses, and failed to record a sack. Now, a reunion with the Chiefs seems all but certain. And despite a brief, lackluster stint in Denver, it's one that the Chiefs should welcome.
Why Bringing Back Clark is a Good Idea
To put it simply, Clark's return to Kansas City makes total sense on all fronts. It's a low-risk, low-cost move that adds depth and experience to KC's defense, while also providing a boost in the locker room too. Who could say no to that?
Importantly for the Chiefs, two of the biggest barriers to re-signing Clark have been removed.
The first is price. Clark copped more than a decent amount of flack in Kansas City, mostly centered around the large five-year, $104 million contract extension he signed shortly after arriving. It was the kind of money paid to elite players.
Although Clark was good – especially come playoff time – his performances never quite matched the expectations money like that brings. But now, that financial pressure is gone. The Chiefs saved $21 million in cap space when they cut Clark this offseason, and the cost of re-signing him would come at a fraction of his original price.
The second barrier that has been removed is that of expectations. Kansas City paid top dollar for Clark last time, and they needed him to be that elite player, something he never really was. Now though, that expectation is no longer there.
Kansas City already boasts a top-five defense in the league, with a glut of valuable defensive pieces in Chris Jones, the emerging George Karlaftis, an inspired Mike Danna, a promising Felix Anudike-Uzomah and an incoming Charles Omenihu. Clark would simply be an extra piece on top of that. He would be a role player – someone who can contribute, but who isn't expected or, crucially, relied upon to carry the defense. It would be a huge difference.
On top of that, Clark's return would provide an extra depth piece moving forward, while also offering a boost in the locker room too. All offseason we saw tweets from Jones calling on KC to bring Clark back, and last season we saw him take on a teacher role with Karlaftis as well, something that would hopefully continue and extend to FAU as well.
History Repeating? The Chiefs and Their Veteran Players
K.C. has shown no hesitation in previous years to bring in veteran defensive players in previous years. In 2019 it was Turrell Suggs. In 2021 it was Melvin Ingram and last year it was Carlos Dunlap. So why not bring in another one in Clark, a player who is incredibly familiar with the team, its structure and gameplan?
The Chiefs were interested in bringing Clark back over the offseason on a restructured agreement, but a deal for the right price couldn't be made. Now, both parties have a second chance, an opportunity to right that wrong.
It's a move that would be beneficial for both parties. It's a no brainer.