Seahawks Acquire Former Broncos Pass Rusher Frank Clark

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The Seattle Seahawks are bringing back Frank Clark because they need him on the edge after losing outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu for the remainder of the season, head coach Pete Carroll announced on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Seahawks officially announced Clark’s signing and put Nwosu on injured reserve.

According to a source who spoke with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Clark, a three-time Pro Bowl pick who played his first four seasons with the Seahawks, was approached by other teams but desired to go back to his home state.

“Having background and history with him, it’s a natural spot for him to play with us and see if he can get in the rotation and help us out and see how it goes,” Carroll said.

Since being dismissed by the Denver Broncos on October 14—about four months after they gave him a one-year, $5.45 million contract—Clark, 30, has been a free agent.

That deal was completely guaranteed, but before his release, he consented to a reorganization in which he forfeited around $1.7 million, ostensibly to enable a trade that never materialized.

With Denver, he played in just two games and had two tackles. He missed three games due to a hip injury but played 25 defensive snaps in the first game of the season and then 11 in Week 5. He was ruled out of the Broncos’ Week 6 game due to what the team described as an illness.

Carroll claimed that before accepting the offer, the Seahawks did not try to work Clark out. Carroll thinks he’ll be ready to play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns despite only having had two practice days because he did not make it to club headquarters in time for Wednesday’s practice.

“He needs to get here,” Carroll said. “He’s not here yet, but I’m thinking that.”

Though Carroll stated there are many similarities in the role they see for Clark—playing outside linebacker in their 3-4 fronts and rushing off the edge in their 4-3 looks—the Seahawks under coordinator Clint Hurtt are using a different defense than they did during Clark’s first spell in Seattle.

“It’s very similar, and Clint feels really comfortable about being able to make this a really quick transition to get him into position to play,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how he does. We’re excited for him to get a chance to come back. He’s really looking forward to it, so we’ll try to make this work out.”

Along with nose tackle Jarran Reed and linebacker Bobby Wagner, Clark is another well-known player returning to the Seahawks in 2023. A few weeks before the 2019 draft, the Seahawks traded Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for a package that included first- and second-round picks. Clark was selected by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Following the Seahawks’ finest edge player, Nwosu, suffering a pec injury last Sunday that would require season-ending surgery, his return comes shortly after. Clark will be included in a group that also includes rookie second-round pick Derick Hall, Boye Mafe, and Darrell Taylor. Although Taylor missed his whole rookie season due to a leg injury, he is currently in his fourth season while Mafe is in his second.

Carroll stated that considering Seattle’s youth in that role, Clark’s experience is crucial.

After serving as a rotational rusher for the first two seasons of his career, Clark recorded 35 sacks in 62 regular-season games with the Seahawks. In 2017, he was elevated to the starting lineup. After the 2018 season, the Seahawks placed Clark under the franchise tag, allowing him to earn $17.128 million in 2019.

However, they traded Clark to Kansas City, partly due to their uncertainty about their ability to re-sign him in the offseason that followed.

Following the move, he agreed to a five-year, $104 million agreement. During his first three seasons with the Chiefs, he was selected for the Pro Bowl each time, amassing 18.5 regular-season sacks while leading Kansas City to victory in Super Bowl LIV.

In 15 games for the Chiefs the previous season, Clark tallied five sacks. He was suspended for two games after breaking the NFL’s personal conduct policy. This resulted from Clark’s 2021 plea of no contest to two misdemeanor charges of assault weapon possession after his separate arrests in Los Angeles.

According to Pro Football Reference, Clark recorded 13.5 sacks in the postseason, which is the third-most in history, split between five playoff games with Seattle and 12 with Kansas City.

In other Seahawks news, wide receiver DK Metcalf made his practice comeback on Wednesday following a hip injury that kept him out of the game the previous week. Since joining the NFL in 2019, Metcalf has not missed a game, and he stated on Wednesday, “I’m feeling good.”