Let’s try and parse the following tweet…
Seattle still is considering trading franchise DE Frank Clark and if he were to be traded before Thursday’s draft, the package would need to include at least a first-round pick, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 20, 2019
1. The Seahawks are open to trading Frank Clark — as many have reported. Now they’re using the media to try and set a high bar for negotiations.
2. The parameters for a deal are clear so if a new contract was possible, we’d probably be hearing about progress not potential trades. Have they already decided they can’t/won’t meet Clark’s demands?
3. Clearly nobody has made a suitable offer. That’s why they’re making it known, through the best source of NFL breaking news, what their high-point asking price is.
4. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll take a first round pick to get a deal done. They might be prepared to accept a high second rounder. At this stage it seems like they want to shoot for the first rounder and there’s time to adjust their position.
5. We’ve been here before with Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. Nobody made a reasonable offer and both players remained in Seattle. I still think this outcome is likely for Clark in 2019 due to the excellent D-line class and the +$65m in guarantees you’d have to give up on top of draft compensation.
6. Even so, it’s pretty clear a trade could happen. There’s no point pretending it’s a non-starter — even if, like me, you think ultimately he’ll play on the franchise tag this season. Too many quality sources are talking about this. Adam Schefter, Mike Garofolo, Michael Lombardi, Tony Pauline, Mike Florio, Ian Rapoport and originally Jay Glazer.
7. Garofolo originally told 710 ESPN it would take a high first rounder to acquire Clark. That seems very unlikely and if that was possible — the Seahawks wouldn’t need Schefter’s tweet to help things along. If the interested parties are Indianapolis and Kansas City as reported — this is probably about trying to coax them to offer #26, #29 or #34 instead of #59, #61 or #63.
8. Adding a high-ish pick for Clark would free up cap space and aid Seattle’s draft board. That’s the positive side of things. The negative is — their pass rush was already fairly milquetoast. When they lost Cliff Avril and traded Michael Bennett, Clark was the up-and-coming younger player ready to take the leading role. They don’t have a Clark to turn to now. Removing him would create a big hole. The fact they’re even considering it shows how much they value this D-line draft class. And for that reason — get ready for a D-line centric draft next week.
For more on the Clark situation, listen to our conversation with Tony Pauline:
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