Kansas City Chiefs’ star defensive end Frank Clark is facing some serious jail time. Clark was charged yesterday with felony possession of an assault weapon, LA County District Attorney’s office spokesperson Greg Risling confirmed to NFL.com.
Clark was charged and arrested after an incident in March in West Carson, California. The NFL veteran and another man were detained by California Highway Patrol after two loaded firearms were discovered in a bag in the back seat of their vehicle following a routine traffic stop.
Frank Clark’s arraignment is set for July 14, with the Chiefs’ training camp scheduled to start on July 28.
What effect would Clark’s potential absence have on the Chiefs’ defense?
Frank Clark has been the leading pass rusher for the Chiefs since arriving in Kansas City in 2019. There is a real possibility that Clark could be sentenced to prison and miss the next few seasons with the team.
Even if Clark is found not guilty or reach a plea deal, it’s possible NFL commissioner Roger Goddell could hand down a multi-game suspension to the 28-year-old defensive end.
So what happens to the Chiefs’ defense now? How would Clark’s absence impact the team this year?
Clark would leave a big hole to fill
If Clark were to miss the upcoming NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs would need to find a way to find an alternative for his defensive production.
In his two seasons with the Chiefs, Clark has recorded 14 sacks, one interception, six passes defended, three forced fumbles and 66 tackles. He has especially stood out in the postseason for Kansas City.
The Chiefs currently have defensive ends Mike Danna and former Cowboys Taco Charlton, alongside defensive tackles Chris Jones and Jarran Reed on their roster. None of these players has shown the big-play ability of Frank Clark in the NFL.
They do have another defensive star in safety, Tyrann Mathieu, but it’s the ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks where the Chiefs may be found wanting. The Chiefs did bring in free agent Melvin Ingram for a workout earlier this off-season, and he may be the answer if Clark is found to be unavailable.
It’s another unwanted distraction for Chiefs head coach Andy Reid this off-season.