A lot of teams are reportedly interested in trading with the Seahawks to get Frank Clark. That would be one of the Seahawks worst decisions in years.
The rumor mill has been grinding away ever since the Seahawks applied the franchise tag to professional man-beast and defensive end Frank Clark. Other than the incredibly stupid rumors about trading Russell Wilson, it’s hard to imagine a bigger possible mistake.
Clark, as we’ve mentioned several times, racked up 30 percent of the team’s sacks last season. He also contributed 25 percent of the quarterback hits. The only other player on the team to collect more than three sacks in 2018 was Jarran Reed. Clark has been fairly consistent in getting to the quarterback over his career, based on his opportunities. You can’t say the same about Reed.
I’m not knocking Reed, just stating the facts. He had a tremendous season. It’s just that interior linemen typically don’t put up big numbers in the sack department. That doesn’t Reed can’t hit double digits again in 2019; of course he can. But history indicates it isn’t very likely. His history, and the history of some of the best defensive tackles ever.
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In his first two seasons with the Seahawks, Reed totaled three sacks in 30 games, 21 of those starts. Yes, he certainly could have established a new level of play. But how likely is it that he’ll be able to keep up that level of production? I think it will help to look at a few key players from the Seahawks past for comparison.
Cortez Kennedy was one of Seattle’s best players ever. He was the last tackle to hit double digits in sacks for the Hawks before Reed accomplished it last year. Kennedy had a remarkable 14 sacks in 1992, the second of his eight Pro Bowl seasons. His previous high was 6.5 sacks, which he would accomplish three more times in his 11-year career. Kennedy had eight sacks in 1996 for his second-highest season total. Obviously, he had a tremendous career, but even this Hall of Famer could only break into double digits once.
John Randle gives us more hope. It’s true Randle moved around the line somewhat, but the majority of his snaps were at tackle. He has the all-time league record for sacks by a defensive tackle with 137.5. He posted double-digit sacks in nine of his fourteen seasons. Still, when you’re comparing a player coming into his fourth year with Hall of Famers, you have to be judicious in your expectations.
Some more Hall of Famer careers to throw out there. Warren Sapp had four double-digit sack seasons out of 13. Ndamukong Suh recorded 10 sacks as a rookie, and has never matched that number in the eight ensuing years. Seven-time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins has dropped the quarterback at least 10 times just three times in his nine-year career. Listen, if Jarran Reed has close to the career of these guys, no one will complain.
But we’re talking about sacks. This is why it would be sheer insanity for the Seahawks to trade Frank Clark. I don’t care if the Bills, or whoever is on the rumor mill next, gives Seattle two first round picks. Clark will have just turned 26 when camp open in July this year. He’s played through injuries, so we know he’s durable. Draft picks are a crap shoot; Clark is a known talent. Or do we need to be reminded of names like Rick Mirer and Dan McGwire?
Frank Clark is signed after an off-season of concern by the 12s. He’s working social media like crazy to bring more talent to the Seahawks. Frank Clark needs to stay in Seattle for the next several years, at least. The Seahawks would be making a terrible mistake if they were to trade this rising team leader and defensive standout away.