Seahawks Instant Reaction: How will Frank Clark fit back in?

Oct 25, 2023, 11:53 AM | Updated: 12:53 pm

The loss of Uchenna Nwosu has led the Seattle Seahawks to make an addition to their pass rush, with head coach Pete Carroll confirming Wednesday that the team expects to reunite with Frank Clark on a midseason deal in free agency.

Bump: How much should Frank Clark play right away?

Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy were on the air when the news about Clark’s return broke from NFL insiders Wednesday morning, allowing them to share their instant reactions. Let’s take a look at what Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost have to say.

Frank Clark at a glance

Rost provided a look at the 30-year-old Clark’s career at this point, then asked Bumpus a big question.

“He was most recently with Denver – appeared in two games, didn’t start any of them, had two combined tackles so obviously not much there,” Rost said. “But for three consecutive seasons from 2019 to 2021 with Kansas City, he was in a Pro Bowl. The most sacks he’s ever had in a season is still with Seattle in his final season here. It was a different defense, different coordinator, different base defense, different players were here. Is this because of (the injury to) Uchenna Nwosu?”

Bumpus, a former NFL wide receiver who is now a Seahawks Radio Network host and Pac-12 Network analyst, said the loss of Nwosu to a pectoral injury Sunday probably amplified the situation with Clark, who was released by Denver on Oct. 14.

“They were probably going to look anyway,” Bumpus said, “but Uchenna made it like, ‘Alright, we really got to take a look. Fly him down here, let’s see where his mind is at, let’s see where his body is at.'”

Bump: How much should Clark play right away in Hawks return?

Bumpus then compared it to the Seahawks’ decision to draft Devon Witherspoon at No. 5 overall in April even though cornerback was not believed to be the biggest need for the team at the time. It also helps that Clark can be added without trade compensation, unlike other options Seattle could explore.

“It’s kind of like the Devon Witherspoon move. You’re just going to get the best available player out there right now, and I think Frank Clark, he might be the best available within the means that the Hawks are willing to spend. You can go after the young man over there with the Vikings (Danielle Hunter), but they’re gonna ask too much.”

Does the move make sense?

Clark has been available for a little over a week, and Bumpus wasn’t so sure at first that bringing Clark back would make sense to Seattle. The Nwosu injury obviously changed the situation, however.

“I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t think they were going to do it, yet I understand why you would do it,” Bumpus said. “This man has been productive the last couple of years, as of late it has been a little bit of a struggle. I look at the defensive scheme and thought that maybe he wouldn’t be a good fit, but you know what? This defense is ballin’, you lost one of your dogs so you gotta go check somebody out.”

Rost asked Bumpus why he didn’t initially think the Seahawks would bring back Clark, and he said it had to do with the team’s current defensive principles. Seattle switched from a 4-3 defensive front to a 3-4 prior to the 2022 season, so even though Clark has been with the team before, his experience is in a different base scheme.

“He had his success playing in a 4-3 defense. Now, you look at what the Seahawks do and at times it looks like a 4-3 defense, it’s all personnel or whatnot. I just felt as if that’s the type of defense he needed to be in to have that success. But, you know, you hear (Seahawks defensive coordinator) Clint Hurtt and (head coach) Pete Carroll say look, it’s a 3-4 with 4-3 principles. When Clark is out there, I bet we’re gonna see some 4-3 principles.”

Bumpus added that just because he didn’t expect the Seahawks to sign Clark doesn’t mean he dislikes the idea.

“I’m not against it. I’m always with signing a baller, and for some reason guys come back to Seattle and find their way so let’s see what happens here. … When you can get a veteran who was a Pro Bowler, who’s been here before – different defense but you’re familiar with them – I can understand why you would do it.”

Bump and Stacy airs live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays on Seattle Sports 710 AM and the Seattle Sports app. Listen to the full conversation about Frank Clark from Wednesday in the video player at the top of this post, and click here for podcasts from the show.

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