As the Jets consider how to improve their deficient pass rush, one of the biggest names set to become available might not make it to free agency.
Former NFL agent Joel Corry, who works for CBS Sports, told the Seattle Times he believes the Seahawks will use the franchise tag on Frank Clark. The 25-year-old edge rusher recorded a career-high 13 sacks for Seattle in 2018, and according to Pro Football Focus, Clark had 69 quarterback pressures.
Clark's agent Erik Burkhardt told ESPN in October that he and his client "are not scared of the franchise tag."
"You're almost going to have to franchise him based on the comments that Erik Burkhardt made about not being afraid of the franchise tag and knowing the value of a pass rusher,'' Corry told the paper. "If I'm him, I'm not doing something like Danielle Hunter. You're almost going to have to franchise him.''
Hunter signed a five-year extension with the Vikings last summer worth up to $72 million, including $40 million guaranteed. The 24-year-old then recorded 14.5 sacks during the 2018 season.
How seriously the Jets would pursue Clark is uncertain. When Clark was at University of Michigan in 2014 he was kicked off the football team after a domestic violence arrest. Weeks before the 2015 NFL Draft, Clark accepted a plea agreement in which the domestic-violence charge was downgraded to disorderly conduct. The Seahawks selected Clark in the second round.
Other edge options such as Houston's Jadeveon Clowney, Dallas' DeMarcus Lawrence and Kansas City's Dee Ford could all be franchise-tagged by their respective teams as well if long-term deals aren't reached.