In an effort to strengthen their roster ahead of the upcoming season, Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton has promised significant changes, and the team has taken a step towards fulfilling that promise.
The Broncos have agreed to terms with veteran defensive end Frank Clark on a one-year deal, reportedly worth up to $7.5 million with a guaranteed base salary of $5.5 million.
Clark, who will celebrate his 30th birthday next week, became available when the Kansas City Chiefs released him on March 1 due to a contract dispute with his agent, Erik Burkhardt.
The Broncos, looking to bolster their defensive depth, found an opportunity to add Clark to their roster. Currently, the team has room on the edge, particularly due to linebacker Baron Browning’s absence from on-field activities in OTAs as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Additionally, Randy Gregory’s 2022 season was plagued by injuries, including a knee injury.
Gregory, a significant free-agent acquisition for the Broncos last year, played in only six games due to a knee injury sustained in Week 4, finishing the season with two sacks.
With Clark’s arrival, the Broncos aim to fortify their defense and compensate for the absence of Browning and Gregory’s limited playing time.
Payton has consistently expressed his intention to retool the team’s thin roster, emphasizing the need to evaluate other players in various position groups.
The Broncos have not made the playoffs since their Super Bowl 50 victory to close out the 2015 season – and Payton has wasted no time making necessary adjustments to get the proud franchise back on track.
Clark’s acquisition adds experience and productivity to the Broncos’ defense. The Seattle Seahawks traded Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019, where he played in 58 regular-season games over four seasons, accumulating 23.5 sacks.
Notably, Clark showcased his skills in the postseason, making 12 appearances and recording 10.5 sacks during his tenure with the Chiefs.
His three-sack display in a divisional round game against the Houston Texans after the 2019 season highlights his ability to elevate his play when it matters most. When considering his time with the Seahawks, Clark has amassed an impressive 13.5 career postseason sacks, ranking third all-time.
It is important to note that Clark faced disciplinary action during the 2022 season, as he was suspended by the NFL for two games due to a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
In September of that year, he pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor possession of an assault weapon and received one year of probation and 40 hours of community service.
As a three-time Pro Bowl selection, Clark brings a wealth of experience to the Broncos’ defense. With 58.5 career sacks and 14 forced fumbles under his belt, he adds a significant boost to Denver’s pass-rushing capabilities.
With the addition of Frank Clark, the Denver Broncos hope to build a stronger roster and make a return to the playoffs after a lengthy absence. The team’s coaching staff and fans eagerly anticipate the impact that Clark will bring to the defense as they strive to reach new heights in the upcoming season.
Although Clark’s best days are behind him, the reaction on social media was largely positive as he is able to stay in the division and attempt to make Kansas City regret not keeping him.
“In those critical moments, you gotta have guys that can get after the passer, and Frank Clark has proven that he can do that at those times.”
.@mspears96 is a fan of Frank Clark heading to the Broncos 👀
“In those critical moments, you gotta have guys that can get after the passer, and Frank Clark has proven that he can do that at those times.” pic.twitter.com/KmJUyFCpU1
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 8, 2023
“LMAOOOOOO mahomes is finished.”
LMAOOOOOO mahomes is finished 😭
— Chri$ 𖤐 (@ChrisWithTheW) June 8, 2023
“Wow that’s awesome but…. There still going to suck.”
Wow that’s awesome but…. There still going to suck.
— Hos1321 (@hos1321) June 8, 2023
“Broncos fans, please do not allow yourselves to get excited. Instead, pause for a moment and ask yourselves this: is Russell Wilson still your starting Quarterback? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.”
Broncos fans, please do not allow yourselves to get excited. Instead, pause for a moment and ask yourselves this: is Russell Wilson still your starting Quarterback? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.
— NFL Data Analyst | Harrison P. Kent IV (@harrisonpkent) June 8, 2023
— Jameson Gioni (@WestsideiNDO777) June 8, 2023