Frank Clark is responsible for some of the greatest memories in Kansas City Chiefs history. The defensive end is also responsible for the potential repercussions of offseason arrests.
Clark, who has experienced an up-and-down career with the Chiefs, was arrested in March and again in June for illegal possession of a firearm. His arraignment and plea hearing was originally scheduled for earlier this month but was recently postponed until Oct. 4. That falls directly in line with the NFL regular season, which poses an interesting dilemma for the team.
Arrowhead Report's Conner Christopherson broke down the situation in more detail last week. If Clark's arrests result in a suspension stemming from a violation of the league's personal conduct policy, his $18.5 million guaranteed base salary for this season becomes void. Cutting him would allow the Chiefs to save a hefty chunk of change with manageable dead cap hits moving forward.
With that said, there isn't a direct replacement for Clark currently on the team. The Chiefs have held a visit with free agent pass-rusher Melvin Ingram, but an agreement on a deal was never reached. If Taco Charlton, Joshua Kaindoh, Mike Danna or Tim Ward is the every-down edge, that's an issue. Christopherson joined me on today's Roughing the Kicker podcast to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze here.
While losing Clark would undoubtedly be a blow to the Chiefs, the instant cap space is tempting. With players like Tyrann Mathieu and Orlando Brown Jr. due to receive relatively massive extensions in the near future, having cash on hand now wouldn't be a bad idea. General manager Brett Veach can do some damage with $18.5M, especially considering how creative he is with contracts.
Another player to consider: nose tackle Derrick Nnadi. Nnadi flies under the radar and isn't a flashy player, but his presence is quite valuable. Two-down nose tackles who play great run defense don't exactly grow on trees. With Clark's money on the books, extending Nnadi's contract before he hits free agency next offseason is a difficult task. Without it, the Chiefs could lock up one of their more underrated players long-term.
Of course, waiting to part ways with Clark until 2022 is always an option. If designated as a post-June 1 cut, the Chiefs would be saving $21M while incurring dead cap hits of just $6.8M at that point and in 2023. That's helpful, too. The franchise is being offered a potential out now, though, and has a finite amount of time to make a decision. Time will tell which avenue Veach and company choose to take.
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