What if the Hawks do trade Clark?

NFL draftAll signs point to the Seahawks trading Frank Clark by Thursday. If they do, what are they going to do about their pass rush?

Kansas City is the team everyone thinks might trade for him, giving up the 29th overall pick and the 63rd to satisfy Seattle’s demand for a first and second. The Colts, who could give up 26 and 59, are another option. (Both the Chiefs and Colts have two second-round picks.)

If the Hawks made a deal with either of those clubs, it would give them the flexibility to use one first-rounder for a player and the other for their usual snowball trade that nets several picks and lands them in the second round.

But trading Clark just to avoid paying him would be a major gamble for a team that fancies itself a contender again. And Seattle would need a plan for replacing him.

Even if the Seahawks drafted Brian Burns, Jaylon Ferguson, D’Andre Walker or another rusher with one of their top two picks, there is no guarantee he would have an impact as a rookie. Pass rushing is a veteran’s gig. Seattle would be stupid to rely on rookies and second-year guys to rush the passer.

But, in divesting themselves of Clark’s $17.1 million franchise tender, the Hawks could afford to add a veteran such as Nick Perry (who already has visited Seattle) or Ziggy Ansah (though injury concerns might preclude that idea). Or perhaps a deal with the Colts would bring Jabaal Sheard to the Seahawks.

The Jets were interested as well, but they won’t surrender the No. 3 overall pick (they would rather trade down and get several picks). The Seahawks apparently are not offering 21 and Clark for No. 3.

Buffalo also has expressed interest, but the Bills probably wouldn’t want to give up the ninth pick for Clark straight up either. A deal that might make sense: Buffalo sends Jerry Hughes with 9 and Seattle sends Clark and 21. Then the Hawks would have a veteran pass rusher and be in position to perhaps draft Rashan Gary or move down a few spots and add Clelin Ferrell.

However they do it, if the Hawks are going to trade Clark, they need to bring in at least two pass rushers — and at least one has to be a veteran.


One thought on “What if the Hawks do trade Clark?”

  1. “Pass rushing is a veteran’s gig.”

    Fans and commentators gloss over this point. Clark himself did not start every game until this year, plus his third season — while sound — was something of a regression. It was not until last year that he showed 20M/yr. potential. Even though, this year’s draft is a good one for the pass rush, a team like the Chiefs or the Colts needs help *now*.


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