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Seahawks place non-exclusive franchise tag on Frank Clark

Frank Clark was the Seahawks' leading pass rusher in 2018. (AP)

The Seahawks have placed a franchise tag on defensive end Frank Clark.

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The team announced the move on Monday afternoon, making Clark just the second player to receive a franchise designation under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.

The Seahawks were expected to either use the franchise tag on Clark or sign the fourth-year pro to a new contract this offseason, a belief that was further reinforced by a comment from Carroll in a January interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard and Mike Salk that Clark “isn’t going anywhere.”

Clark, 25, is the first Seahawks player to be franchised since kicker Olindo Mare in 2010.

The non-exclusive franchise tag agreement allows Clark to negotiate elsewhere, but for another team to sign him, it would have to send two first-round picks to Seattle. There is also a July 15 deadline that keeps the door open for Clark and the Seahawks to work on a contract extension that would nullify the franchise tag.

The franchise tag would act as a one-year deal worth the average of the top five salaries at Clark’s defensive end position or 120 percent of his previous salary (the figure would be $17.128 million, per NFL.com), and Seattle would still have the option to either franchise tag Clark again in 2020 should the two sides not agree on a long-term contract after next season.

Clark, a 2015 second-round pick by the Seahawks, was Pro Football Focus‘ top-graded edge rusher in the NFC West last season. He finished with 14 sacks, 41 tackles, 27 quarterback hits, and his first career interception. In four years with the Seahawks, Clark has 35 sacks, 136 tackles and 72 quarterback hits.

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