Packers reportedly sign Kenny Clark to four year extension

The deal makes Clark the highest paid nose tackle in the league. 

From Schefter: 

Clark was the first big puzzle piece for Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball to figure out as they navigate some uncharted territory with upcoming salary cap challenges, but this is obviously a fantastic move. 

Clark has missed only four games through his first four NFL seasons, amassing 193 tackles, 16½ sacks and four forced fumbles in 60 regular-season games. His 49 pressures in 2019 were second in the league among defensive tackles.

UPDATE: The team has made it official. 

8 points

Comments (50)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
4thand1's picture

August 15, 2020 at 10:07 am

WOW,

2 points
3
1
Lare's picture

August 15, 2020 at 10:08 am

Great news. Would be interesting to see how it affects the Salary Cap.

2 points
4
2
Stroh's picture

August 15, 2020 at 03:37 pm

$25M sign bonus, probably subtracts $5M for this year in signing bonus. Its an ext so his contract for this year remains in place. If they kept that as is, the 5M bonus should be the only affect on this years cap. Next year is the bigger question, since we probably will see a reduction in the salary cap.

-1 points
0
1
Spock's picture

August 15, 2020 at 10:34 am

You knew it was going to happen. As usual any new deal in the NFL seems to be a record breaking contract until the next team tops the deal with their own guy -usually days or a few weeks later. Glad Kenny is a Packer and his young age makes him even more likely to keep getting better! GPG.

6 points
7
1
frankthefork's picture

August 15, 2020 at 10:50 am

Happy for KC. But the that's quite a price tag...at 7% of cap.
Hope the Packers can create more cap space to get the D-line another piece.
IMO Turner is cut so Bak gets his coin. GPG

1 points
2
1
dobber's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:55 am

"IMO Turner is cut so Bak gets his coin."

Not 'til after 2020. Cutting him prior to that accelerates an extra $1.6M to the 2020 cap.

1 points
2
1
murf7777's picture

August 15, 2020 at 01:34 pm

With his age and production and Considering what some of the top lineman have been getting I felt it was a fair deal for the Packers, maybe even a lil home discount.

0 points
2
2
mbpacker's picture

August 15, 2020 at 10:51 am

Just another manic Saturday! Great news. Go Pack Go!

2 points
3
1
PhantomII's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

A lot of money. Should have been done a few years ago for less at the time. Hope the Packers can get him some legit help so he is not double teamed every play. Then, we will truly see how good Kenny Clark can be at affecting the other teams offense. He is the only guy on the inside who is a play maker. I think we will see "Z" used inside more along with Gary to add in athletacism since we did not draft or pick up anyone who has it. I like Clark but he is going to get hurt if he has 2 big guys laying on him every play. Get him some solid help Gute.

-5 points
2
7
scullyitsme's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:23 am

Dp

-1 points
0
1
scullyitsme's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:25 am

Um, the smiths are pretty damm good. 3 studs on the dline are more than most have. I’m all for improving anyway possible, but we have plenty next to Clark

-3 points
1
4
PhantomII's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:41 am

They are all good but the OLB does not keep someone from ruining your new 18+ mill DT's back by year 2 of contract. Just need above average DT play from someone else to rest him or put his fist in the ground next to him.
Maybe Keke steps up. We can only hope. Clark played entire 19 season hurt.

1 points
2
1
dobber's picture

August 15, 2020 at 12:09 pm

It's all about structure. Where's the annual salary? -- Likely back-loaded.

As it stands, a $25M signing bonus means a little over $5M plus whatever his 2020 salary will be. His cap hit under the 5th year option is about $7.7M, so a backloaded salary potentially gets the worst of his hit out from under the ARod umbrella. I doubt this deal gets the Packers any relief in 2020, but it likely isn't eating up a huge chunk of it, either.

3 points
4
1
Oppy's picture

August 15, 2020 at 02:21 pm

How should this deal have been done "a few years ago"?

Clark still had 2020 left in his rookie contract.

6 points
7
1
TheVOR's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:20 am

Well, I was kind of afraid of this. When you look at that complete 2021 UFA list, and realize they could only sign 2-3 guys max, and considering 2 of those guys were Clark and Bak, ... wow... I just hope they can sign Bak at this point. It seems pretty obvious that Jones will be gone, as will King and Linsley. Wow, that was surprising. I was on the "let Kenny walk train". I viewed Bak as being the must sign guy. If I could only sign 1 guy to a huge contract, it was Bak. Will be interesting!

-1 points
5
6
dobber's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:22 am

Yup...first domino to fall. They're all linked.

0 points
1
1
PhantomII's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:29 am

Clark is young, King is young and pretty good when he can stay on the field. Jones is a huge play maker for offense but I don't see him resigned for big $$. Bak is on the older end of things, that is why I see him walk. It's his last big contract and he will not be a team friendly salary break guy with Rodgers career up in the air. It's about the next 4 years and that is no Rodgers and no Bak. D. Adams contract is up next season.

-1 points
2
3
Guam's picture

August 16, 2020 at 08:41 am

Waiting for details on the contract, particularly the 2021 cap hit, but this deal will make it harder to resign Bahk. The Packers may have room for two mid-range contracts after this (King and a market friendly Jones deal?), but I doubt they will have room for Bahk even if the NFL agrees to spread the COVID19 hit which they haven't done to date.

-1 points
0
1
Stroh's picture

August 15, 2020 at 03:57 pm

Both Clark and Bahktiari are must signs. You don't let great players in their prime leave! They will still get Bahktiari signed, especially OT can play at a very high level, Pro Bowl or All Pro into their 30's. Clark is just the first...

Jones can get extended if he accepts an Eckler type contract (4 yrs 24M approximate value). That's up to him. No way the Packers will pay Jones 9M or more per year. But that is up to Jones. Given they just drafted 3 Interior OL I would guess Linsley will be allowed to leave in FA.

CB is a premium position so they will try to bring KIng back unless he's injured again or plays at a Pro Bowl level, at which point he would probably price himself out of the Packers ability to pay him commensurate w/ play. But CB play is vital to the defense and King is a good starter, not great. They might be able to pay King, but that will be after the season. It will depend on if another CB steps up or now and The pandemic lowering the cap makes it difficult.

2 points
3
1
scullyitsme's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:30 am

I predict Aaron Jones is next, Linsey walks, and bahk gets the franchise for Rodgers final year in green and gold. Then it’s love time. Providing Love doesn’t suck it up. King is a wildcard, hard to predict that one.

-2 points
2
4
NickPerry's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:46 am

With this deal Jones is probably gone BUT the one thing the Packers have going for then concerning Jones is there's a number of RB who will be FA in 2021 driving the price down. Combine that with a reduced cap and a lot of RB are going to get their feelings hurt.

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/2021/all/running-back/

If King stays heathy again the Packers might sign him before others. Obviously this depends on Sullivan's progress, if Jackson can show anything, and maybe a guy like Hollman surprises. Bakhtiari will just be turning 30 at the start of the 2021 season. I could see the Packers letting DB walk. How many OL have we seen the Packers sign to a 3rd contract at the age of 30?

I don't envy BG right now because no matter which way he decides to go, he's going to be letting good players walk out the door. BUT...The same thing can be said about any FA on any team. Teams with key FA next season are going to have a hell of a time.

1 points
3
2
jannes bjornson's picture

August 15, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Turner and Lindsley will be moved by 2021, maybe earlier to make room for Bhaktiari's final deal. They can wait on him a bit to see how his body holds up. King is a challenge to sign w/out viewing his 2020 season, but he is ascending.

5 points
6
1
Stroh's picture

August 15, 2020 at 04:06 pm

Tauscher and Clifton played very well for the Packers into their 30's. They'll get Bahktiari signed to another 3 or 4 yr ext. OG generally have more trouble staying healthy and Bahk has virtually no injury history to speak of.

Jones could be back if he accepts an Eckler type contract (4 yrs 24M). If he wants more let him leave. RB and a dime a dozen.

-3 points
2
5
13TimeChamps's picture

August 15, 2020 at 07:02 pm

RBs who post 1,558 total yards and 19 TDs are hardly "a dime a dozen". If that were true, why did it take GB years to find one? Has to be one of the most annoying takes that people post on here.

2 points
4
2
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 16, 2020 at 02:14 am

Agreed. GB's offense is much better with Jones on the field. RBs like him are not a dime a dozen. At some price point, yes, let him walk. But $9M AAV is perfectly reasonable, and probably low.

4 points
5
1
lecko's picture

August 15, 2020 at 11:56 am

and we will read again how Ball is a cap magician, but again it is one of the most expensive contracts fro position

1 points
1
0
Stroh's picture

August 15, 2020 at 04:11 pm

Well they got him signed didn't they? You have to pay players commensurate with the play. If they player is the best NT in the NFL you have to pay him as such. The magic is in getting the deal done! That is all that matters. They didn't have to let a great player leave. What don't you understand?

-2 points
2
4
stockholder's picture

August 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm

The Defense needed this. BG must sign King, next. This OL is going to get younger. Trades coming.

3 points
4
1
Bure9620's picture

August 15, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Smart move.....many games are won up front. I am wondering the priority placed AJ and Bahktiari now....

1 points
2
1
IceBowl's picture

August 15, 2020 at 01:18 pm

All these insights, all these projections, and all these guesses.

Kenny Clark EARNED his market value. The same as most other players with a contract. You might be the highest paid player, at your position, for one year, but not two (chinese flu seasons excepted).

-4 points
2
6
fastmoving's picture

August 17, 2020 at 08:56 am

Is the Trump flu......but you already knew.....

-2 points
0
2
murf7777's picture

August 15, 2020 at 01:45 pm

Don’t get tied up the Nose Tackle tag, He is an IL. When considering the top interior Dline, Donald, Buckner and Jones all signed for between 20-22M per year, this seems like a deal. He’s young, very productive and healthy. Smart move for the Packers. Now bring on Snacks for a one year deal.

5 points
6
1
Oppy's picture

August 15, 2020 at 02:24 pm

Don't get tied up in the "highest paid" tag, he's a legit nose tackle, and worth every penny.

1 points
3
2
scullyitsme's picture

August 15, 2020 at 01:50 pm

just seems odd to me that so many fans talk as if they know something about the dam salary cap. Seems like every time we sign a good player immediately the salary cap hell people come out. It’s like when we win the game there’s a bunch of people wanting to point out How we actually sucked winning.

3 points
4
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 15, 2020 at 02:31 pm

Reports are that Clark gets $37M in cash over two years with a $25M signing bonus. So his minimum for 2020 is $910K as a base plus a $5M proration, for a total of $25.91M in cash (the cash probably will be a bit more than that - perhaps a game active bonus, for example). That leaves $11.09M in cash for 2021, plus a $5M proration, but I don't see how the Packers could stomach a $16M plus cap hit for Clark in 2021. So, I expect to see an option bonus in 2021 for a decent part of that $11.09M in cash that he reportedly will receive so that it can be amortized over the remaining four years.

It sounds like there are sizeable dead money charges for the first three years: 2020 through 2022.

I am not thrilled with $17.5M AAV. That is $5M more AAV than the all-time highest paid NT ever. Obviously, GB is paying him like a DT in a 4-3 or a DE in a 3-4. I am not persuaded that either of those is his best position, but I should think he could play a 4-3 DT. $16-17M is probably his market and I am just being cheap.

Now that Clark has gotten his money, I hope he will remember to play run defense rather than focus on his pass-rushing stats (we all know sacks and pressures get paid).

2 points
4
2
Oppy's picture

August 15, 2020 at 02:30 pm

ask and I shall receive, lol.

Uncanny timing, TGR.

So you're not a fan of the contract structure is what I'm getting out of this.

-1 points
1
2
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 15, 2020 at 02:47 pm

IDK, haven't seen it yet. Guessing there's an option bonus of $6M or more in 2021. Clark is young and has not had any real injury issues, though he missed three games one year. The dead money matters only if something awful happens, like an injury, so I deem dead money to be a fairly minor concern and one that attends every NFL contract of size.

I don't think GB had any choice about the structure, not if they want to keep more than one of their best players in 2021. Signing Clark does open up the franchise tag for Bakh, which would be a good deal for GB since Bakh is worth $6M more per year than the tag is likely to be. Makes for an unhappy player though, so hopefully, it is just an unspoken negotiating tool. An option bonus in 2021 could make Jones and/or Linsley and/or King affordable, if used in their contracts as well. I suppose not all three would be affordable. I can wait to see what the cap limit will be, but I think it wouldn't be more than $175M.

Murff (IIRC) said I should look at Clark as an IDL rather than as an NT. He's probably right and I should repress I normal nature of categorizing players and quantifying stuff.

Clark is a very good player, but I can't get out of my mind that his career high is just 9 QB hits. I can see QB hits, whereas pressures are far more subjective. When Gute said publicly that the Packers' priority was to sign Clark, I knew my $14M valuation (pre-Grady Jarrett contract) was not going to happen.

3 points
3
0
murf7777's picture

August 15, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Thanks TGR I respect your opinion. I also noticed MLF stated he plans to play him across the line more this year. I also wonder if they really play much true 3-4 with a traditional NT.

2 points
3
1
Stroh's picture

August 15, 2020 at 04:24 pm

As for the contract, its an extension to the remain amount he was scheduled to be paid for "20, approx 7.5M would get included in the 37M that would leave about 4M that would likely be part of his pay for '21.

Clark is among the top 5 Interior DL in the NFL. Whether he is a NT or DT is really immaterial IMO. On passing downs he is a DT, not necessarily a NT. I have no problem w/ 17.5M AAV, its actually close to expected. He's not the 20-20 M range like Donald or Jones. Can you name 3 interior DL that are clearly better? Fletcher Cox would be one, Chris Jones and Donald of course, after that I can't think of any off the top of my head. That puts him at #4 for interior DL, unless you know of others.

1 points
3
2
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 16, 2020 at 03:18 am

Well, the Packers have said that Clark played too many snaps, so it sounds like they think of him as an NT: nose tackles play perhaps 650 snaps per year. Murf wrote that GB is going to move Clark around more. At any rate, 4-3 DTs routinely play 800-950 snaps per year. So, if Clark is going to be limited to 650 snaps, he should probably get 20% less than comparable 4-3 DTs who play more snaps. Excluding rookie years:

Clark: 684, 720, 869 snaps.
Donald: 915, 829, 790 (14 games), 914, 926.
Cox: 885, 926, 983, 772, 607, 830, 799
Jones: 678, 773, 646 in 13 games
Jarrett: 630, 794, 711 (14 games), 806.

This is tedious. In 2019, Suh, Bosa, Atkins, Calais Campbell, Buckner, Jarrett, and Cox all played more than 800 snaps, some more that 900 snaps.

I'm not thrilled with $17.5M but I think that's his market after Jarrett got $17M, since Jarrett is probably better than Clark, and Clark only gets to his salary due to wage inflation.
[Jarrett: 13.5 sacks, 54 pressures, 24 hurries, 15 QB knockdowns (excludes sacks), 122 tackles, 20 TFL vs. Clarks: 12 sacks, 30 pressures, 15 hurries, 2 QB knockdowns, 117 tackles, 17 TFL - PFR.]

Let's wait for a breakdown on Clark's deal. I read $37 million paid in cash to Clark in 2020 and 2021, and Pelisero tweeted the $25M would be paid within five months. That leaves $12M in cash to be paid in 2021 minus Clark's vet. min. base salary and perhaps a $500K game active bonus, so around $10 to $11M in 2021. Not $4M.

-1 points
2
3
Oppy's picture

August 15, 2020 at 02:28 pm

I would like to hear from some of our resident cap gurus on how giving Kenny that large up front signing bonus and fair market value yearly salary affects the cap numbers.

I have a feeling that for a big time contract, this is a more cap-friendly deal than it may seem on the surface.

Congrats to Kenny and the Packers. He's one of the best young football players in the league. Hopefully they can find someone to adequately spell him from time to time. His snaps need to be controlled so he can be kept fresh and healthy.

4 points
5
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 15, 2020 at 03:15 pm

Can you define "cap friendly." Since the big crunch is likely to be in 2021, I'd say cap-friendly means low cap hits in 2020 and 2021 (and big hits in 2022 and beyond). Clark's min. cap hit for 2020 is $5.91M, but GB likes game active bonuses and likes workout bonuses (which would be applicable for 2021 and beyond), so Clark's cap number is probably in the $6M to 8M range for 2020.

What will Clark's cap number be in 2021? What does it mean (in terms of Gute's philosophy as to win now versus stay competitive and hope lightning strikes vs looking at 2022 and beyond) if it is a small number versus a big number for 2021?

At any rate, GB has a history of the first year of new money being 50% to 70% of AAV (I should check that but my time is limited at the moment). 50% would translate to an $8.75M cap hit in 2021 and 70% to $12.25M. I do think Clark's cap number for 2020 and 2021 combined will be revealing.

2 points
3
1
nostradanus's picture

August 15, 2020 at 02:52 pm

Always sign your stars before signing someone else’s.
Keeps a happy locker room.
That is all...

1 points
4
3
Stroh's picture

August 15, 2020 at 04:28 pm

Damn straight!!

-1 points
1
2
egbertsouse's picture

August 15, 2020 at 06:09 pm

Sounds like Gute panicked and overpaid. Sort of like his mentor, Uncle Ted, did on a couple occasions.

-7 points
1
8
flackcatcher's picture

August 15, 2020 at 06:51 pm

No. Gute paid the rate for an ascending player who is already in the top 5 in his position. Clarke is already an elite player who can play every position in the DL and can drop back in coverage. For the Pettine system, he is that rare player who makes the system work. Giving his growth, there is an excellent chance that like Jordy Nelson, or if you like, the Smith Bros, Clarke will out play his contract. Then Clarke's signing would be cheap at the price. We will just have to wait and see.

3 points
4
1
Oppy's picture

August 15, 2020 at 08:13 pm

Clark is an absolute beast in the center of the line.
It's been a long time since the Packers have had an anchor like Kenny. He's supremely talented, a workhorse, and he's also still quite young in a position where players often don't peak until 30.

Considering the price tags flying around this offseason, $17 M / year is a fair price, and actually what I predicted he was going to land. A lot of people were predicting he'd play out 2020 and earn $20+M / year in free agency.

I think this signing is great for both parties. Go Pack.

2 points
3
1
flackcatcher's picture

August 15, 2020 at 06:38 pm

Interesting... My only guess is that the Packers must have gotten the numbers on the Cap relief deal to sign Clarke. Outside that, no one not the Packers, not the NFL and not the NFLPA or Owners knows what next years Cap number is. With the virus hanging over the league like the damn reaper, with the real possibility of give back to the nets and sponsors, Cap hell could be real not just for Packers, but for the entire league. But hey, look on the bright side. Owners and Players finally agree on something for once.... (Typing out last sentence with a truly evil smile)

1 points
2
1
murf7777's picture

August 15, 2020 at 10:29 pm

Cap hell is right but all teams have to play with the same number and rest assured it will be spread out over years.

0 points
1
1
4thand1's picture

August 16, 2020 at 05:37 pm

A lot of good comments. To the asshat who disliked almost every post........................YOU SUCK.

2 points
2
0