JASON BROWN: Clark's antics could limit Chiefs in opening weeks
The Kansas City Chiefs offseason is not slowing down when it comes to providing news that we will overreact to and the latest edition of "news we shouldn't care about but have to" is here.
Defensive end and top-5 salary cap hit Frank Clark was arrested in Los Angeles last week for illegal possession of a firearm. My immediate reaction as I read the headline on the notification sent to my phone was that this incident was no big deal and will likely result in a game suspension at most.
Then, hours later, I read some more of the reporting and got the details. The reports allege Clark had an uzi submachine gun in plain view during the traffic stop for the arresting officer to see. I doubt I am the only one wondering why Clark and his entourage are driving around Los Angeles with weapons like that. Another nugget that didn't surface until later in the day was that Clark had been arrested on the same exact charge in March.
With that information available, it is hard to imagine Clark doesn't face at least a four-game suspension from the National Football League. Regardless of what the league decides to do with Clark's situation, this is a glaring message to the Chiefs that he is not and will unlikely ever live up to the contract they signed him to when they acquired him from the Seahawks in 2019. His postseason run leading up to the Super Bowl championship was exactly what the club needed to reach the top of the mountain but what has he done lately?
He talks a big game and he's really good at making you believe it but this kind of wreckless behavior paired with his performance on the field and zealous attitude are creating a tricky situation for both sides.
Clark has taken measures to ensure he is one of the main voices on the defense and the Chiefs surely like having leaders on the side of the ball that doesn't line up with Patrick Mahomes. But will they let this nonsense continue where a player arrested for crimes that no professional should commit multiple times?
Cutting Clark isn't an option with the way his contract works this season so the Chiefs will likely remain passive on this issue and just wait til the opportunity comes next offseason.
The reality is most contracts that are signed for four to five years are usually done after the third year because teams prefer to leave a way to get out of a bad deal after the third year. That's why Clark's contract has an out after this season that will save the team $14 million. Even if he had played up to expectations, this option would likely still be favorable. In the meantime, the Chiefs will have to wait and see how long they'll have to roll with a patchwork defensive line sans Clark with games against Cleveland and Baltimore to start the season.
Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org