Two arrests on gun charges in a three-month span this offseason. Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark continues to find himself in trouble with the law off the field despite his brilliant performance on the gridiron.
But for anyone who has followed Clark since his days as a member of the Michigan Wolverines, the fact that he’s making news off the field isn’t necessarily too surprising. It also has some coming to the conclusion that the two-time defending AFC champion Chiefs should simply cut their losses and move on from the high-priced Pro Bowler.
Frank Clark charged with felony weapons possession from March arrest
This past Friday saw Los Angeles prosecutors charge Clark with one felony weapons violation stemming from his arrest on March 13, via The Kansas City Star.
“According to the spokesman, Clark’s arraignment on the charge stemming from the March incident is scheduled for July 14 in Compton, Calif. If convicted, Clark could face up to three years of imprisonment,” the report noted.
Back in March, Clark and another man were arrested after police officers found two loaded guns inside their vehicle.
Latest Frank Clark incident is damning
Feb 1, 2021; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) during Super Bowl media night, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The Chiefs will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55. Mandatory Credit: Steve Sanders/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Back on June 20, authorities in Southern California stopped Clark and allegedly found an Uzi in his Lamborghini truck. Clark’s bond was ultimately set at $35,000 and he spent the evening in jail before posting said bond.
This case remains under investigation in Los Angeles and could potentially lead to even more legal troubles down the line.
Frank Clark domestic violence incident at Michigan
Back in 2014, Clark was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence over an incident at an Ohio hotel, leading to his immediate dismissal from the program. The alleged circumstances surrounding this incident are about as ugly as it gets.
“We went up the room, there was a damaged lamp on the table, a damaged lamp on the wall and she’s got a large welt on the side of her cheek, she’s got marks on her neck,” responding police officer Martin Curran said at the time of the incident. “She had what looked like rug burn on her one thigh. We have pictures of everything.”
The incident allegedly occurred between Frank Clark and his girlfriend at the time, Diamond Hurt. Those close to her had their opinions of what happened, too.
“(I) saw Clark grab the victim by her neck and slam her to the ground,” Hurt’s brother said at the time.
Other witnesses had similar claims.
“She (Hurt) looked unconscious,’’ a woman who was next door when the incident occurred said. “She looked like she was knocked out, and then she started to move slowly.’’
Clark was ultimately charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and assault before pleading guilty to lesser charges.
These incidents are much different in nature. In a vacuum, each one would be concerning on its own. Despite the aforementioned arrest on domestic violence charges, Clark was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
He turned in a brilliant four-year career in the Pacific Northwest, registering 72 quarterback hits and 35 sacks before being dealt to the Chiefs ahead of the 2019 season. In two seasons with Kansas City, Clark has recorded 29 quarterback hits and 14 sacks while earning two Pro Bowl appearances.
Is Frank Clark worth the trouble for the Kansas City Chiefs?
Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) pats the Super Bowl LV logo at midfield after sacking Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (not pictured) during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
This is the biggest question facing general manager Brett Veach and Co. heading into the 2021 season. Teams always want to give their players the benefit of the doubt.
As for Clark, he is facing a July 14 arraignment hearing on the charges from the spring. He’s yet to be charged as it relates to the incident from back in June. Perhaps, the Chiefs should let this situation play out more. Innocent until proven guilty and the like.
But more than anything, this seems to be a pattern for Clark. It’s something the NFL will undoubtedly take into account when the league decides on potential punishment, including what will likely be a suspension.
Fresh off a PR disaster that saw then-assistant coach Britt Reid charged with a felony DUI in an incident that seriously injured a young girl in the lead up to February’s Super Bowl, the Chiefs must understand where they stand from an optics standpoint.
Sure moving off Frank Clark would hurt Kansas City’s Super Bowl aspirations. Even if the team were to void the guarantees remaining on his recent five-year, $104 million extension, it would take a $20.4 million dead cap hit.
Those are the on-field and financial components to this. They will be taken into account. But the time might be now for one of the faces of the NFL to take a stand. It’s not all about winning. Culture and decency should play a role, too.
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