Schneider: Seahawks ‘absolutely’ believe Clark didn’t hit girlfriend

May 4, 2015, 1:35 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2016, 10:50 am
John Schneider says Seattle wouldn’t have drafted Frank Clark if they believed he struck his ...
John Schneider says Seattle wouldn't have drafted Frank Clark if they believed he struck his girlfriend. (AP)
(AP)
LISTEN:

Seahawks general manager John Schneider joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” Monday morning and talked further about the team’s controversial decision to draft defensive end Frank Clark despite past allegations of domestic violence.

Schneider said the team conducted an extensive investigation into the alleged incident – and into Clark’s background – and that the Seahawks “absolutely” wouldn’t have drafted him had they not come to the conclusion that he didn’t strike his girlfriend, which he was accused of doing during a dispute in November.

O’Neil: Sorting through the Seahawks’ selection of Frank Clark isn’t easy

Our story from Friday night has more details on the alleged incident, which immediately resulted in a domestic violence charge – it was later reduced to disorderly conduct – as well as Clark’s dismissal from the Michigan football team.

Schneider said that while the team believes Clark never struck his girlfriend, he put himself in “an awful situation.”

“I think he would admit that. I think Frank and his attorney can speak on that,” Schneider said. “The mistake is that he put himself in an awful situation. There was a lot of arguing going on and yelling and screaming and that’s why there was a disturbance of the peace and the police were called.”

Schneider said he understands the criticism and questions about Seattle’s decision to draft Clark, noting as he did on Friday that he has four older sisters and that he considers domestic violence “a big deal.” He talked about how the team is comfortable with certain types of off-the-field incidents but that others are deal-breakers, saying that “in this draft and in previous drafts” the Seahawks removed several players from consideration, including “a couple” that were chosen in the first round Thursday. He reiterated the team’s stance that hitting a woman is a deal-breaker, saying: “In my opinion, if you strike a woman, you’re off our board. I’m sorry, there’s just no two ways about it.”

Asked why Seattle didn’t draft someone else without the issues Clark comes with, Schneider said the Seahawks “knew that there weren’t going to be any pass rushers left and we needed to grab one as soon as we could” when they chose him with the second-to-last pick in the second round.

“His upside as a player is huge because he can rush inside, he can play the edge outside, he could play Sam (linebacker), he could play the 3-technique, he could play the Leo position,” Schneider said when asked about Clark’s potential. “He’s 270-some pounds, long arms and powerful and highly instinctive. They asked him to do a lot.”

Schneider got into some of Clark’s upbringing and makeup, calling him “a hard-working guy who’s overcome a ton.” He said Clark was homeless when he was 10 years old then moved from Los Angeles to Cleveland to live with his uncle.

“So he fits that mold of guys that we like that have that grit level of (having) overcome a ton of things in their life,” Schneider said. “He’s made his mistakes and we feel like our culture here that we can help this guy and continue to do what they were doing with him at the University of Michigan.”

Brock and Salk podcast

2015 NFL Draft

...
Brady Henderson

Report: Tye Smith signs rookie deal with Seahawks

Not long after offensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli's agent Tweeted that his client was the Seahawks' first draft pick to sign his rookie deal, a report stated that cornerback Tye Smith has become the second.
8 years ago
Brady Henderson

Agent: Kristjan Sokoli signs rookie deal with Seahawks

Offensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli has become the first of the Seahawks' eight draft picks to sign his rookie deal, his agent Tweeting Thursday that the sixth-round pick is now under contract.
8 years ago
Seahawks draft pick Frank Clark was arrested and jailed in November on a domestic-violence charge t...
Brady Henderson

Report: Seahawks didn’t interview witnesses to alleged Clark incident

Two women who were in an adjacent hotel room during the alleged domestic-violence incident involving Seahawks draft pick Frank Clark have shared additional details with The Seattle Times and told the paper that the team never spoke with them as part of its investigation.
8 years ago
A relief trip to Darfur convinced Seahawks signing Nate Boyer to pursue his dream of playing footba...
Brent Stecker

34-year-old rookie and ex-Green Beret Nate Boyer details his journey from military to the Seahawks

There's only one 34-year-old former Green Beret rookie trying to catch on with an NFL team for the 2015 season, and Seahawks hopeful Nate Boyer's story is every bit as inspiring as it sounds.
8 years ago
Connor Halliday will attempt follow in the footsteps of WSU great Mark Rypien as a Washington QB. (...
Brent Stecker

WSU’s Connor Halliday, UW’s Andrew Hudson agree to UDFA deals

After a prolific career at Washington State, Connor Halliday will get a shot to bring the air raid to the NFL, signing a deal as an undrafted free agent with Washington.
8 years ago
Seahawks general manager John Scneider was drawn to Obum Gwacham because of how hard he played. (AP...
Danny O\'Neil

Seahawks stick to draft trademark with picks switching positions

The Seahawks' newest pass rusher, Obum Gwacham, has an appetite for Chipotle, a motor that doesn't stop and a resume that includes three years catching passes in the Pac-12. Just another Seahawks' draft pick.
8 years ago
Schneider: Seahawks ‘absolutely’ believe Clark didn’t hit girlfriend