The Seattle Seahawks traded their star defensive end Frank Clark and a 2019 third-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick, a 2019 third-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick a week before the 2019 NFL Draft. Clark had previously received the franchise tag from the team, worth $17.1 million for the 2019 season. The trade followed persistent rumors that Clark would not report to training camp if he did not receive a long-term deal from Seattle. Kansas City signed Clark to a hefty five-year, $105.5 million contract with $63.5 million guaranteed following the trade.
Seattle has both benefitted and suffered from this trade. On the plus side, they averted a potential holdout situation that could have gotten egregious like that of a certain former Seahawks safety, created cap space to potentially sign key players like five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner to contract extensions, and received a haul of draft picks with sizable value. Seattle needs all of the draft picks they can get at this point, given that they only had four before the trade.
However, the Seahawks now find themselves with a lack of pass-rushing talent. Clark is one of the most productive young defensive ends in the NFL, racking up 32 sacks, 66 quarterback hits, 31 tackles for loss and 120 combined tackles over the past three seasons, so it will be difficult to replace him. In addition, there is no guarantee that the Seahawks will land talented players with the draft picks they received from Kansas City, whereas Clark is a proven talent. Of course, Seattle could end up with even better players than Clark, but that is never a given with draft picks. The team could have trouble getting to the quarterback for at least the 2019 season.
Clark will play for a surefire Super Bowl contender in Kansas City and will receive a luxurious payday while doing so. Meanwhile, the Seahawks will likely search for his replacement sooner rather than later with the draft picks they have gained.