Will Frank Clark prevail or fail in 2021?

Frank Clark made headlines this past month, but not for good reasons. In fact, the news came out that K.C. Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark was arrested for possession of an illegal firearm in the state of California.

Is it something that will prevent Clark from achieving his goals with the Chiefs? How is he really doing?

Frank Clark dealt with a lot of critics during his first year in Kansas City. Given the draft picks given up and the ensuing $104 million extension, people were expecting a lot from him. Many observers found his play not that impactful and his behavior very annoying though.

He seemed very motivated during this offseason talking about how he could not hit his sack goals and wanted to be as efficient as Aaron Donald. However, his actions have not really reflected his words!

So Frank Clark keeps making mistakes and makes it harder on himself for the fandom to admire him blindly.

Andy Reid always agrees to let his players show personality, and boy does Clark has a big attitude.

2021 was going to be a big year for Clark prior to his legal troubles, as the Chiefs could potentially save over $14 million by cutting Clark next year, according to spotract.com. He must pile up numbers this season to show he is worth his market value.  

After playing on the franchise tag with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, Clark signed a five-year contract with the Chiefs. His contract is worth $104 million across the five seasons, including a $19 million signing bonus and $43.8 million guaranteed at signing.

The guarantees on the contract were made up of the signing bonus and Clark’s 2019 and 2020 base salaries. $7 million of the 2020 base salary was paid as an advance in 2019. Clark’s $18.5 million salary in 2021 became fully guaranteed at the start of the 2020 league year. It ends after the 2023 season, leaving three more seasons on the deal. However, the 2021 season is the final year with guarantees.

He is skating on thin ice indeed, as the Chiefs do not have a big history of forgiving legal troubles if this affects their public image.

However, this season Clark will be paired again with Jarran Reed from the Seahawks, a player he knows very well. The addition of Jarran Reed to the defensive line will ultimately upgrade the interior tackle position.

Am I naïve to believe Clark will have to perform very strongly to either remain in Kansas City or find another team next year? Maybe so…

But his previous disappointments and the will of the whole Missouri team to erase the horrible memory of the past Super Bowl could give him extra motivation to push through.

For Clark, this starts with taking the defense to a whole new level and make sure they all have fun playing together.

“Man, I feel like we’re going to have a lot of fun out there,” said Clark. “We’ve got a lot of young guys that are willing to step up. Some guys you don’t even need to name, you’ve got Khalen Saunders, and it’s a lot of young talent. I feel like over the first few years we had, we were new, we didn’t really know each other. It was one of those types of things where we were playing, but I feel like at this point going into Year 3, basically with our foundation kind of being set now with us knowing the layout of our defense, knowing where each person is going to be, knowing how each person plays, I feel like that all plays into our favor, honestly.”

On paper, Clark has much more to lose if he does not perform to his best, but you never know how his personality will play out getting into this next season. Will he be able to prevail in 2021, become a clear leader, and dominate with his mate Reed the KC defense?