The Seahawks have been in the news recently after Russell Wilson put a public deadline for his contract extension. The deadline came by, and Seattle came to an agreement with Wilson on a 4 year, $140 million deal extend him throughout the 2023 season. With that, Russ became the highest paid player in NFL history, per season, at $35 million a season. Currently, the Seahawks have just under $10 million in cap space, and will have roughly $68 million going into 2020. With names like Bobby Wagner, Jarran Reed and Doug Baldwin all signed through 2020, it looks like Frank Clark could be the odd man out for a Seattle pay day.
Yesterday brought us the news that Seattle is looking for a 1st round pick in order to deal Frank Clark this off season, a price many consider too extravagant for the young pass rusher. The trade talks for Frank Clark keep building emphatically as the off season continues, and it seems more and more likely that he will play in a different uniform before the 2019 NFL season begins. If the Seahawks do have to break ties with their gifted edge rusher, here are a few scenarios that could go down…
The Bills are a great all around fit for Frank Clark in terms of scheme, money, and team needs. The Bills would probably be more than okay with trading a 2nd round pick for someone like Clark, and are projected to have over $75 million in cap space for 2020. Not to mention they would be sending him across to the AFC, which is always a plus. I don’t see a franchise willing to give up a 1st round pick with a draft class filled with defensive talent, and the Bills 2nd round pick could be the closest thing put on the table for Seattle. Buffalo needs to rebuild their offense, and give Josh Allen targets but giving a young quarterback an elite defense has proven almost as beneficial as a play making wide receiver.
The Colts have been rumored to be looking at edge rushers in this upcoming draft, as they should be. While there are a few possible prospects they could get in the 2nd round, none would produce at the level Frank Clark can in 2019. Thanks to the Jets, Indy has two 2nd round picks, one being the 34th (Jets) pick in the draft. The Colts could add Clark with their 59th pick to boost an aging Justin Houston on the edge of their defense, and still have the cap space to give Clark $17 mil+ he will probably ask for. The Seahawks could get a great pick, sign all their guys, and still send him to AFC like they could with Buffalo. If the Colts want to go all in on the Post-Brady AFC era, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and make a few big splashes, including adding a talent like Clark.
Obviously Bobby Wagner must be resigned, and that contract will be loaded thanks to C.J. Mosley. To be on the safe side we can just call his contract $18 mil/year, giving the Seahawks $50 million left to spend in 2020. Up Next is Jarran Reed, who had a break out 2018 campaign with 50 total tackles and 10.5 sacks for the Seahawks. Those numbers might be nice, but Reed also only had 3 sacks in his two seasons prior. If I were in the Seattle front office, I wouldn’t want to give him more than $14 million a year, along the lines of Jurrell Casey’s contract with the Titans. Doug Baldwin is going to be tricky, considering he is aging, and has had a lot of surgeries just in this last off season. The Seahawks must pay Baldwin, but be realistic with what they are going to get out of him throughout the contract. If you walk away paying him less than $12 mil/a year then it is a win/win, and the Seahawks will have about $24 million left to spend on Frank Clark. He will cost over 75% of that budget, but if the Seahawks don’t resign Duane Brown, that will give them another $12 million to work with the $6 million left from signing Clark.
No other players on the Seahawks roster other than Jarran Reed was able to get consistent pressure on the quarterback last season. I personally wouldn’t want to see Clark leave Seattle, and think they should maneuver the roster a bit to keep him. Seattle only has 4 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, a league low, could be cause of concern for a franchise that depends so heavily on this process. If a franchise gives the Seahawks an offer of multiple mid-low end draft picks, including a 2nd round selection, would they be willing to turn down that offer? Looks like we will have to wait until April 25th to find out what is in hold for Frank Clark, and the Seattle Seahawks.