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ESPN’s Brady Henderson: Franchise tag for Frank Clark looks like ‘most likely outcome’ right now

The Seahawks take on the Lions on Sunday, Oct. 28. (AP)

Heading into this upcoming offseason, defensive end Frank Clark may be the Seahawks’ biggest target for a re-signing. If comments from Clark’s agent are any indication, though, it won’t be cheap.

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ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported Tuesday that in a conversation with Erik Burkhardt, defensive end Frank Clark’s agent, Burkhardt said his client “is not scared of the franchise tag” and is fine to wait and see how the market unfolds for top-tier pass rushers.

Henderson joined John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle to offer some additional insight.

“I think the conversation really answered a big part of that question, of ‘what’s going on with Frank Clark?'” Henderson said. “I should be clear, the agent did not tell me or did not specify exactly what Clark is looking for. But I think that anybody who read the comments could reasonably infer that he is looking for a deal that makes him one of the 10, maybe five highest-paid pass rushers in the NFL.”

What would that kind of deal look like?

“You’re probably looking at a deal north of $18 million,” Henderson said. “Which, not coincidentally, I think that is going to be right around where the franchise number for defensive ends is going to be this year. I think based on where things seem to stand, the franchise tag looks like the most likely outcome as of right now. Maybe Frank Clark, if he continues to play really well, ends up with 16 sacks, and maybe they come to him in December with a deal that’s more to his liking. But if you’re Frank Clark and you’re in December at that point, you’ve already got that insurance policy.”

Clark is one of a number of Seahawks in the midst of a contract year with Seattle. Two of those players – wide receiver Tyler Lockett and left tackle Duane Brown – have already received a contract extension, while safety Earl Thomas engaged in a months’ long holdout that ended without a new deal.

Clark has 27.5 sacks in his career with Seattle, with five-and-a-half of those coming through six games this year, and is the team’s leading pass-rusher. According to Henderson, since the start of the 2016 season, Clark’s 24.5 sacks are tied with Terrell Suggs for 10th in the NFL (though Clark also has the second-fewest snaps during that time).

Listen to John Clayton’s entire interview with Brady Henderson on Clayton’s podcast page here (beginning at the 19-minute mark) or in the audio embedded above.

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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