Former Kansas City Chiefs edge rusher Frank Clark agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos on Thursday afternoon.
Shortly after his decision was made, the 29-year-old Clark told CBS Sports reporter Josina Anderson why he ultimately decided to stay in the AFC West division.
“The situation with Sean Payton is good for me. I get to play alongside Randy Gregory and stay in a division that I am very familiar with,” Clark said. “I also want to help the Broncos get back to the mountaintop.”
Frank Clark to me on why he chose the #Broncos on FaceTime: “The situation with Sean Payton is good for me. I get to play alongside Randy Gregory and stay in my in division that I am very familiar with. I also want to help the Broncos get back to the mountain top.”
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 8, 2023
Although the Broncos are coming off of a disappointing season in 2022, this move makes plenty of sense for Clark. Familiarity is always important in a player’s success and Clark already has intel on each team within the division. He played four seasons in the AFC West and has played against the Chargers and Raiders a number of times. He also knows how Kansas City’s offense operates after years of practicing against it.
As Clark mentioned, he will be paired up with Gregory, who was in Clark’s draft class in 2015. Gregory and Clark were selected three picks apart from each other, as Gregory was selected 60th overall by the Cowboys and Clark was selected by the Seahawks at pick No. 63.
Winning the division will be a tall task for the Broncos, but playoffs are clearly the goal with Payton as the head coach. Denver has not made the playoffs since 2015 when the Broncos won the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning. Reaching the playoffs would allow Clark to continue his playoff legacy. His 13.5 playoff career sacks are the third most all-time behind Bruce Smith and Willie McGinest.
A trip to the playoffs would also be reminiscent of former Chiefs DE Neil Smith’s departure from Kansas City to Denver. His tenure with the Broncos resulted in plenty of playoff success and two Super Bowl rings (XXXII, XXXIII).
Joining a stacked defense like the Broncos have can take some pressure off of Clark’s shoulders, allowing him to be more effective in getting to the quarterback.
The Chiefs host the Broncos in Week 6 in Kansas City on “Thursday Night Football” and again in Week 8 in Denver.