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Frank Clark, Broncos agree to pay cut, clearing way for potential trade

Frank Clark's offseason decision to switch teams in a lopsided AFC West rivalry hasn't gone according to plan, and the experiment could end soon.

Clark and the Broncos agreed to a pay cut that reduces his $3.5 million base salary to the minimum of $841,000 for the rest of the 2023 season, NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported on Thursday, per sources. Clark returned $1.679 million in base pay as part of the restructure, signaling a divorce could be ahead.

Clark's future with the 1-4 Broncos remains fluid, per Garafolo, but he will not play in Thursday night's game against his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, due to an illness.

After recording 4.5 or more sacks in each season from 2016-2022 (split between Seattle and Kansas City) and earning three Pro Bowl nods from 2019-2021, Clark hasn't done much of anything for Denver's 32nd-ranked defense. He's recorded two tackles and hasn't logged a single sack through five weeks, playing in just two of the Broncos' first five games.

Denver's offseason signing of Clark was supposed to add a valued rusher to a defense that could certainly use one. Now, after trading Randy Gregory -- another notable past offseason signing -- to San Francisco, Denver very well could do the same with Clark, whose salary is no longer a problem when it comes to facilitating a deal.

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