The Kansas City Chiefs decided to attack their issues on defense head-on this offseason. Most notably, they signed Tyrann Mathieu and then, they were able to land Frank Clark via trade.
Clark was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Chiefs after Seattle was unable to come to terms with the premier pass rusher. The athletic pass rusher played his first four seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks. Now, he will sport the red and white in Kansas City.
In his first four seasons, Clark has amassed 35 sacks, 136 total tackles, eight forced fumbles, and 35 tackles for loss. Clark had career-highs in sacks (13), forced fumbles (3), fumble recoveries (2), and quarterback hits (27) in 2018.
Everyone knew that Clark would command a hefty price tag no matter where he ended up for the 2019 season. The Chiefs showed how interested they were in Clark by putting together a large package to land the Seahawks edge rusher.
The trade involved the Chiefs giving up their 2019 first-rounder, 2020 second-rounder, and swapping third-round picks in this year’s draft with the Seahawks. That’s a lot to give up for a pass rusher but will Clark live up to the price that the Chiefs paid to acquire him?
The answer is a resounding yes. His numbers and production speak for themselves. Clark is undoubtedly one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and the thing is: he is only 25-years old and continuing to get better.
After the Chiefs landed Clark, they immediately signed him to a long-term deal. Clark signed the deal, which was worth $104 million over five years. The contract also includes $62.3 million in guarantees. That type of contract comes with lofty expectations but Clark is ready to show that he is worth the risk.
In 2018, the Chiefs struggled in every department when it came to the defensive side of the ball. While the offense and Patrick Mahomes were busy scoring touchdowns with ease, their defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed. Kansas City ranked 31st in the NFL in total defense (31st against the pass, 27th against the run).
So what do you do when you struggle to stop the opposing team’s passing attack? You get yourself some secondary help and pass rushers. The Chiefs did just that by going out and getting Mathieu and Clark this offseason. Along with those guys, Kansas City also brought in Emmanuel Ogbah, Alex Okafor and Darron Lee.
The Chiefs also fired their long-time defensive coordinator in Bob Sutton after the 2018 season concluded. Sutton had been with the team for six seasons. To replace him, the Chiefs hired Steve Spagnuolo to run their defense under Andy Reid.
With this in mind, the hiring of Spagnuolo means that the Chiefs will shift from a dominantly 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defensive scheme. Therefore, trading Dee Ford and cutting Justin Houston made sense as those guys were no longer scheme fits in Kansas City.
After all, Clark fits the new Chiefs defensive scheme under Spagnuolo like a glove. Clark played in a 4-3 defense his whole career with the Seahawks and showed he can excel in it.
Clark thrives at rushing the passer and he will be able to do just that with the Chiefs. Additionally, playing alongside talented guys like Okafor and Chris Jones can bring even more out of Clark.
For this reason, Clark could have his best season in the NFL in 2019 with the Chiefs.
Clark has a ton of expectations considering the price that the Chiefs paid for him but he will flourish in the City of Fountains.