The Cleveland Browns will enter free agency on March 13 with money to spend and holes to fill on the roster as the team looks to take control of the AFC North Division for the next decade.
With around $78 million and change in cap space, according to spotrac.com, there is literally no player financially out of reach for general manager John Dorsey.
The Browns could use a tackle, too, but equal need exists for a havoc-spinning pass rusher to pair across from quarterback destroyer Myles Garrett. A bull-rushing powerhouse, Clark boasts the speed and strength to cast off blockers and crumble the pocket. Seattle wants him back ... but the Browns are flush with piles of cash.
Clark is exactly the type of player that the Browns, or any team actually, would want in free agency.
He is the right age - he turns 26 this summer - and is coming off a season that saw him post a career-high 13 sacks. He has 33 sacks since 2016, which puts him at ninth place in the league during that time, and he has done it while playing fewer snaps than the players in front of him, according to ESPN. And of the 21 players who have posted at least 25 sacks in the past three seasons, Clarks average of a sack every 63.9 snaps is seventh-best in the league, according to ESPN.
Before you start having visions of Clark and defensive end Myles Garrett terrorizing opposing quarterbacks, there is a catch.
The Seahawks don’t want Clark to hit free agency and can always use the franchise tag on Clark if the two sides can’t reach an agreement on a new contract. The franchise tag for a defensive end will run the Seahawks around $18 million, according to Greg Bell of The News Tribune.
There is a catch, however, as the Seahawks need to re-sign both of their starting guards, J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker, as well as nickel back Justin Coleman. There are also looming extensions for quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner, who are entering the final year of their current contracts.
With the money those two players are going to demand, there is a slight possibility that Seattle will determine there is simply not enough money to go around and Dorsey can start waving large bags of cash in Clark’s direction.
Defensive end is not a high priority for the Browns, and it is still unlikely that the Seahawks will allow Clark to become a free agent.
But while we wait for free agency to officially start next month, it is fun to imagine what could happen.