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Frank Clark says he knew he wouldn’t be back to Chiefs ‘a few months ago’

Clark joined the Denver Broncos on a one-year deal.

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark joined CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson on the “Undefined” podcast for about 45 minutes following his decision to sign with the Denver Broncos.

Among several topics, Anderson asked Clark about Kansas City’s decision to release him and the realization that he would no longer be a member of the Chiefs (that part starts around the 13-minute mark).

“The reality is I had to face that a few months ago,” started Clark, “when I had the conversation with my GM, with [Brett] Veach. That settled in for me a few months ago, the fact that there was a high chance that I probably wasn’t going to be back. There’s always a little bit of hope that you could defend your crown and stuff like that, but I kind of knew. I kind of knew that it wasn’t going to happen just based off our conversation that we had. We had a personal conversation. I felt that after the conversation.”

Clark continued, highlighting his relationship with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

“The Chiefs, it’s a first-class organization,” said Clark. “Andy Reid, starting all the way at the top coming down to my coach, my head coach. He’s forever going to be my head coach in Andy Reid. We shared countless times — many conversations about cars and about life and about family and about just making the wrong decisions — both he’s made and I’ve made. And making the good decisions, we talked about it all. I’m forever grateful for having him. I came in a young man and he turned me into a true man, helped me become a standup guy in this league [and] in life. I’m forever thankful for the opportunity that I had to even play for that man, for that team — the brotherhood.”

Clark mentioned his close relationships with defensive tackle Chris Jones, former Chiefs defensive back Chris Lammons, punter Tommy Townsend and the staff members who took care of the equipment and the facility.

Anderson followed up with Clark about his conversation with Veach, asking for specifics.

“At the end of the day, it’s a business but I took a paycut for years at a time — I think it was two years in row I had to take a paycut, which is fine.” said Clark. “But going into my third year, I had a pretty great year... I helped my team win another Super Bowl. And I do what I have to do. But then I have big pay coming in next year on my deal, 20-plus million I think, which is high as s—t. Obviously, it’s high, man, in this era of football, especially in this era of [salary] cap, too.

“So we obviously know something has to be worked out. I wasn’t asking for an out-the-ballpark number. I wasn’t asking for $15-20 million. I was due like 25... My agent (Erik Burkhardt), he basically just gave me the scoop and said [the Chiefs said], ‘We’re trying to get something done with a few other guys on the team,’ and I said, ‘I’m with you. I understand fully.’ And he said, ‘If it comes around in free agency, if we can make something work out later on, let’s stay in contact and we can work something out.’ And I said, ‘All right, I got you.’ And that was basically the gist of the conversation.

“Did I get an offer? Was it anything said to that degree? No. No, it was never nothing said, because it was more him saying like, ‘Yo. I don’t want to offer you a number that you’re going to feel disrespected if I offer you, to keep it real with you.’

“I feel like we both enjoyed the time. I truthfully believe them and agree to that. I enjoyed my time in KC. I enjoyed the relationship that I built with everybody. Theres no hard feelings to anybody in that building.”

Clark concluded that there was a quiet understanding between the two sides that it was time to move on — which he eventually did, with the Broncos.

Clark discusses why he liked the Broncos as a fit, his new head coach, Sean Payton, and more over the 45 minutes, which you can check out here.

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