A key part of the Chiefs' Super Bowl defense appears headed to free agency.
Kansas City is expected to release defensive end Frank Clark after the sides couldn't come to terms on a revised contract, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Monday, per a source.
Clark, who was on the final year of his deal and due $21 million in 2023, would have impacted the Chiefs with a $28.7 million cap hit. By releasing him, the team instead saves $21 million on the cap (with $7.7 million in dead money).
In four seasons since being traded from the Seattle Seahawks, Clark has rounded into all-star form. He made the Pro Bowl each season from 2019-2021, and he's tallied 23.5 sacks, 32 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles as a Chief.
Clark was especially menacing on the defensive side for the Chiefs during their recent Super Bowl run, adding 2.5 sacks in the postseason. It was characteristically clutch for the DE -- he had five sacks in the 2019 postseason and three during the 2020 playoffs.
But his contributions were not enough given what Clark was set to make in 2023, so the 2015 second-round pick will now seek out that money from other pass rusher-needy teams around the league.
Clark enters his age-30 season a two-time Super Bowl champion with 58.5 career sacks, and K.C. will have a playmaking hole to fill as it moves forward with players like Mike Danna and the promising George Karlaftis still under contract.