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The Kansas City Chiefs reportedly are on the verge of losing a key player from their Super Bowl-winning roster.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, star defensive end Frank Clark is expected to be released after the Chiefs and his agent Erik Burkhardt “were unable to find common ground on a reworked deal during several conversations” at the NFL Scouting Combine last week.
Kansas City general manager Brett Veach told The Athletic’s Nate Taylor last week that the team would explore new deals for Clark and star defensive tackle Chris Jones. At the time, he expressed optimism at the chances of retaining both of them.
“The good thing for us is that we have these strong connections with these players that have played here a long time,” Veach said of Jones and Clark. “They love being here. That’s a good starting point for us. The bonds that we have with these players, and the fact that we have a long track record with them, helps us buy more time.”
Releasing Clark saves Kansas City $21 million in cap space, though the team will take a dead-money hit of $7.6 million.
The nine-year veteran is coming off a stellar postseason run in which he registered 2.5 sacks and four quarterback hits on the way to helping the Chiefs win Super Bowl LVII. Clark played 15 games in the regular season and recorded 39 total tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
According to Taylor, Veach “stressed that the Chiefs will be competitive in the open market to re-sign Clark” in the event of his release, so there’s a chance that he ends up staying put this offseason. However, a player of his caliber is likely to command a lot of attention on the open market, creating competition for Kansas City to bring him back.