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Clayton: What Seahawks DE Frank Clark’s injury admission means with his contract up

Seahawks DE Frank Clark had a Pro Bowl-caliber 2018 despite injuries to both elbows. (AP)

In what is supposed to be a quiet time for the Seahawks, plenty is going on.

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Pete Carroll is revamping his strength and training staff. Frank Clark informed the world he tore UCLs in each of his elbows. The Seahawks signed a kicker. Pro Bowl alternates are awaiting a phone call to see if they are heading to Orlando.

Let’s take a quick look at a couple of the bigger stories going on for the Seahawks.

Frank Clark’s health status

The Frank Clark story is fascinating. We all know he is willing to play through pain. He played the 2017 season with broken bones in each hand, even needing surgery on one of them. On Tuesday, he tweeted out that he was playing at 60 percent this season and finished with torn UCLs in each elbow.

If you watched Clark during certain games, you could see he had pain, especially if he would make a wide turn on a blocker and go to the ground. Nevertheless, he’s missed only two games in his four-year career.

The interesting part of this admission is that he talked about these injuries in the final year of his contract. Clearly, Clark was able to play at a Pro Bowl level despite two years of serious injuries to his hands and elbows. Getting the word out could work against him in the sense that the Seahawks or other teams might worry about when the injuries could catch up to him.

In this case, though, the Seahawks want and should try to sign him to a long-term deal. A top pass rusher could now cost as much as $20 million a year, so it’s also not out of line to think the Seahawks could franchise tag him. Either way, they can’t lose him.

In fact, the Seahawks need to add a Clark-type defensive end on the other side of the line.

There’s a decent chance Clark could still get a call to go to the Pro Bowl. He’s one of the top NFC alternates at defensive end, which would put him in position to decide if he wants to play despite the elbow injuries.

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The kicking situation

On Jan. 3, 2018, the Seahawks signed kicker Jason Myers to a future/reserve deal. It didn’t seem to be a big deal at the time – the Seahawks were just in the beginning stages of finding the replacement for Blair Walsh.

In OTAs and training camp, Myers looked great. He didn’t miss field goals or extra points and showed great power with his kicks. But the job was going to go to Sebastian Janikowski, whom the Seahawks signed in free agency.

Myers ended up going to the Jets, making 26 of 30 field goals and being selected as the AFC’s Pro Bowl kicker.

Janikowski had a rough end to his season, and the Seahawks recently signed Sam Ficken, a 26-year-old kicker who was on and off the Los Angeles Rams roster the past two years, to a future deal. Ficken doesn’t come with the résumé of Myers, though. He’s made only three of his six field goal attempts in the NFL.

Watching the Myers’ story, you never want to say never to Ficken’s chances to making the team. That will sort out in the spring and summer. You would think the Seahawks will move on from Janikowski, though, so the Seahawks are in the process of looking for their third kicker in three years.

Stay tuned.

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John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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