Are the Bills interested in trading for Frank Clark? According to Jay Glazer they are (and they might not be the only team).
Well, Dan Morgan worked in Seattle and is close to John Schneider. There’s interest around Frank Clark from them and others RT @swailes_robert: @JayGlazer Now there are three guys I’d be happy for the Bills to go after.
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) March 8, 2019
It seems unlikely that the Seahawks would be willing to trade Clark. Pete Carroll has said multiple times, quite firmly, that Clark will be with the team next year. Situations can change, of course. Yet Clark has developed into an integral part of the roster. He’s one of their blue chip players. He’s also clearly committed to Seattle considering he’s spent the last few days pitching to free agents like Landon Collins and Kwon Alexander on Twitter.
It’s also possible this rumour is in part an attempt to flush out Clark’s representatives. Don’t want to get serious about a deal? We’ll move you, possibly to the team Antonio Brown didn’t want to go to. It’s that time of the year where a lot of bidding is done via the media.
A trade probably isn’t going to happen. The Bills, or anyone else, would have to offer an attractive deal and be willing to pay Clark a mega-contract. The Seahawks if they were to lose Clark would create a major hole on their roster. They’d also be losing a player in his prime (he doesn’t even turn 26 until June).
Still, the point of this blog is to consider situations. What you’re about to read is a great big slice of shameless rosterbation.
What kind of a deal would potentially make sense for both the Bills and Seahawks?
Firstly, any trade isn’t going to be worth more than the cumulative value of the #9 overall pick and Buffalo’s 2020 first round pick. That’s what the Bills would have to pay if they signed Clark to an offer sheet under the non-exclusive franchise tag.
That’s the absolute maximum price. The Bills will be looking for a cheaper trade.
Remember, the idea here is to find something that might work for both teams. So here’s what I think might appeal:
Buffalo trades: #9 (R1), #40 (R2), #75 (R3), #113 (R4)
Seattle trades: Frank Clark, #21 (R1)
Why this might work for the Seahawks
Instead of having four 2019 picks they have seven. They fill out their board and also acquire a rare top-10 pick. While they’d have to replace Clark, they’d suddenly have an extra $17m in cap space to do so (plus plenty of ammunition in the draft). This would also solve one of the potential 2020 problems with Clark, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed all set to be out of contract.
They could spend their top pick on Ed Oliver to replace some of the rare athletic dynamism missing in Clark’s absence. They might even be able to trade down from #9 to get Oliver. With the free cap space they could target Anthony Barr or one of the other EDGE rushers. They could even add a couple of free agent pass rushers.
You’d also have an excellent haul of picks in rounds 2-5 to make the most of the great depth within this draft class.
A final point — unless they do a long term deal with Clark he can leave for free in 12 months time.
Why this might work for the Bills
Buffalo needs a pass rusher but they also need to help support Josh Allen. Trading from #9 to #21 still enables them to target a receiver or offensive linemen in round one. They could also choose to try and replenish some of their lost stock by trading down. So while they’re taking a significant hit (losing #40 and trading out of the top-10), they’re not completely blowing their 2019 draft for Clark.
Furthermore, the Bills currently have two fourth round picks and two fifth round picks. So trading some of their mid-round stock is less of a problem. From this deal they’d acquire Clark (and have to pay him handsomely) but they’d still have #21 (R1), #132 (R4), #148 (R5) and #159 (R5).
People will want to fleece the Bills in any potential deal. That isn’t realistic. And while you might only make a trade if it’s massively weighted in Seattle’s favour, trades generally happen when there’s a legit reason for both clubs to make a move.
I have no idea whether both parties would be interested in a deal like the one suggested above. I’m not saying that I would necessarily make this move either.
But if the Seahawks are at a point where they think an extension with Clark is unlikely, they have to assess their options. This trade would free up cap room, fill out their draft board, present them with an opportunity to get one of the stud defensive linemen in this draft and solve part of the four-pronged 2020 contract problem.
Look at it this way:
— Seattle loses Frank Clark
— Seattle gains a top rookie D-liner (Ed Oliver?) and has the cap space to sign one or two free agent pass rushers (Anthony Barr?)
— Seattle goes from four picks to seven in the 2019 draft, with a prime opportunity to acquire more, and capitalise on a deep draft class
— Seattle eases the pressure on needing to sign four key free agents before the end of the 2019 season
Food for thought.
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