The Chiefs on Tuesday afternoon officially released defensive end Frank Clark.
The move comes as expected, as The Star reported Monday on the Chiefs’ intentions after the team and Clark’s representative were unable to agree on a reworked contract to keep Clark in Kansas City.
But the Chiefs made sure to send off Clark, who earned Pro Bowl honors in a Chiefs uniform (2019-21), the right way.
First, the Chiefs took to social media by tagging Clark on Twitter with a simple message: “Forever a Kansas City Chief @TheRealFrankC_ … Thank you for everything, 55.”
The Chiefs followed up by tweeting a video montage celebrating Clark’s time in Kansas City.
The tributes to Clark didn’t stop there, as Chiefs general manager Brett Veach and Chiefs coach Andy Reid issued statements on Clark’s release.
“It’s really hard to put into words what Frank has meant to our organization over the last four seasons,” Veach said in a statement. “When we traded for him before the 2019 season, he came here with the goal of winning championships.
“We went to three Super Bowls in four season and won two of those, and there is no doubt that Frank was a significant part of bringing those Lombardi Trophies to Kansas City. ‘The Shark’ cemented his legacy here in Chiefs Kingdom with his play and his personality. These decisions are never easy, but we with him the best as he continues his career.”
Reid echoed those comments.
“Frank is a special player and person,” Reid said in a statement. “You were able to see his play on the field, but if you talk to him, you realize how incredible his heart is. Frank gave us all his energy, he invested time in our younger players to help them grow, and it just shows you how passionate he is about the game.
“He’ll always be a part of our history here and we appreciate the work he put in to help us get there.”
While the 29-year-old Clark played a large role in helping the Chiefs become an NFL juggernaut over the past four seasons, his release showed the business side of football.
By cutting ties with Clark, who was set to earn a $20.5 million base salary in 2023, the Chiefs saved an estimated $21 million against the salary cap ahead of the start of free agency on March 15.
With Clark’s release, the Chiefs now have a projected $17.8 million in spending money when the NFL’s new calendar year begins next week, according to spotrac.
Clark, whom the Chiefs acquired in 2019 via trade with the Seattle Seahawks, finished his time in Kansas City appearing in 58 regular-season games with 55 starts, totaling 88 tackles, 23.5 sacks and 59 quarterback hits.
He also started 12 playoff games for the Chiefs, amassing 32 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits.