The Seattle Seahawks are still considering trading defensive end Frank Clark, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.
In return, the Seahawks would want any package to include at least a first-round pick in next week’s NFL draft, the source said.
Seahawks may have a hard time restocking their post-LOB secondary
Clark, who has yet to sign his $17.128 million franchise tag, has been the subject of trade rumors. He led the Seahawks with 13 sacks and also had four forced fumbles and an interception last season, and he added another sack in a wild-card playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Earlier this week, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said trade rumors are common this time of year, but he didn’t shoot down any involving Clark, who turns 26 in June.
“He’s a franchised player. We love Frank,” Schneider said. “He’s an incredibly effective pass-rusher and we love him. … When you’re getting close to the trade deadline and you get close to the draft, it’s like major speculation, a ton of drama, all the news outlets and everything. I get it. It’s what we’re doing, it’s entertainment.
“People around the league know that we’re in every deal, that the people on my staff, we’re always trying to understand the landscape around the National Football League. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be doing our job. We can’t ever have our head in the sand with anything, but we love Frank. Obviously that’s why we franchised him.”
The Seahawks have a league-low four picks in this year’s draft, so the potential return on a Clark trade would add much-needed draft capital. But it would mean moving on from one of the game’s top edge rushers in what could be the early stages of his prime.
His 33 sacks since 2016 ranks ninth in the league, and his 2,045 defensive snaps in that span are fewer than the eight players ahead of him, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Of the 21 players with at least 25 sacks since 2016, Clark’s average of a sack every 63.9 snaps ranks seventh.
No other player on Seattle’s roster other than defensive tackle Jarran Reed (10.5 sacks) had more than three for the Seahawks last season. The Seahawks recently added defensive ends Cassius Marsh and Nate Orchard in free agency. Dion Jordan, who spent the past two seasons with Seattle, remains unsigned.
The Seahawks publicly shopped Richard Sherman in 2017 and considered trading Earl Thomas last year, ultimately hanging on to both players for one more season. So their desire for a first-round pick in any trade is in keeping with recent precedent of highly valuing players even though they might not have a long-term future with the team.