Even with an offensive guru in Sean Payton now at the helm of the Broncos, Denver is looking to solidify its defense prior to the 2023 season.
The Broncos took a step toward doing that Thursday when they reportedly signed two-time Super Bowl champion and veteran defensive end Frank Clark to a one-year contract, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter noted Clark’s deal is worth $5.5 million in base salary that is guaranteed and he can make $2 million more in incentives.
Clark was a central figure on defense for the Kansas City Chiefs in their recent runs to two Super Bowl titles. In four postseasons with the Chiefs, Clark tallied 7 1/2 sacks in 12 playoff contests. The Chiefs released Clark on March 1 as they were at an impasse with contract negotiations, according to ESPN’s Jeff Legwold.
Clark, who turns 30 next Wednesday, earned three straight Pro Bowl nods from 2019-2021 but saw his sack production decrease in each of those seasons.
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Adding Clark gives the Broncos another pass-rusher to pair opposite Randy Gregory, who Denver gave a five-year, $70 million contract to in free agency last offseason. Gregory missed the majority of last season due to a knee injury. And after trading away Bradley Chubb — the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft — to the Miami Dolphins in the middle of the 2022 season, the Broncos clearly were looking for another player on the edge who can get after the quarterback.
Clark will join a Broncos defense that was one of the better units in the league a season ago. Denver finished seventh in yards allowed per game while also surrendering a middle-of-the-pack 21.1 points per contest. The Broncos ranked near the bottom of the league in sack production with 36 total, though.
With the Broncos, Clark will now have the opportunity to chase around his former teammate and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes twice a season and also will try to take down Mac Jones when Denver and the Patriots collide in Week 16.
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