Seattle Seahawks and defensive end, Frank Clark, have reportedly been discussing an extension ever since this past season ended.
Reports have surfaced that Clark and the Seahawks have been talking about what it would take for the 25-year-old to return to the Emerald City next season. According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, the Seahawks could be leaning towards placing the franchise tag on the defensive end.
If they were to franchise tag Clark, then that would likely cost them just over $17 million for next season. The last time the Seahawks placed a franchise tag on a player was during 2010 for kicker Olindo Mare.
Then it also came out that Clark sustained two torn UCL's during this past season. He confirmed this on Twitter when he stated that he sustained both those injuries during Week 14 against the Minnesota Vikings.
It's surprising to think how good Clark performed last season despite having two different torn UCL's. In 16 games last season, he recorded 33 solo tackles, 13 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one interception that was taken back for 26 yards.
Despite those injuries, Clark was still able to produce his best season yet in his young NFL career, which is why he's likely to command a lengthy contract this upcoming off-season. According to Sportrac, the potential market value for Clark could be a contract for four years and that would pay him an average annual value of $12 million each season.
The Seahawks would actually save around $5 million towards next seasons payroll if they were to sign Clark to a contract like this. Going into this off-season, the Seahawks will have just over $60 million in salary cap space.
Which would leave them around $48 million to fill out the rest of their roster. The Seahawks have normally not had much room to work with in recent seasons because of how many of their aging players were still on expensive contracts.
But thanks to the overhaul of those players last off-season, the Seahawks won't have that problem this time around. So, whatever way they decide to bring back Clark, they will likely still have plenty of money left over to improve their team even further.
What This Means
The Seahawks have stated that bringing Clark back is a priority for them this off-season. Whether that's with a contract extension, or by franchise tagging him. Clark is a core piece of their defense and he will be a big reason for their success if he's brought back for next season.
After the contract situation is resolved with Clark, then it's likely the Seahawks will be able to plan how they will utilize their remaining salary cap space that they have. They will also have a better understanding of what their needs will be after that point as well.