ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton has promised there will be “churn” on the team’s roster and plenty of it in the weeks ahead.
To that end, veteran defensive end Frank Clark agreed Thursday to a one-year deal with the Broncos, according to multiple team sources. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Clark’s deal could be worth up to $7.5 million, including a $5.5 million base salary that is guaranteed.
Clark, who will turn 30 on Wednesday, was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on March 1 when they were unable to find common ground with his agent, Erik Burkhardt, on a reworked contract.
The Broncos have some room on the depth chart on the edge, given that linebacker Baron Browning, who has not participated in the on-field work in OTAs, recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair some cartilage damage and Randy Gregory had an injury-marred season in 2022 that included a knee injury.
Gregory was one of the Broncos’ biggest free agent acquisitions a year ago when he was signed to a five-year, $70 million deal. But because of a Week 4 knee injury, Gregory played in just six games and finished with two sacks.
Payton has consistently said the team will make moves to retool a thin roster. The Broncos haven’t made the playoffs since their Super Bowl 50 win to close out the 2015 season.
“I’ve said it, you’re going to churn certain position groups based on getting a chance to look at other players,” Payton said after Thursday’s practice.
The Seattle Seahawks traded Clark to the Chiefs in 2019. He played in 58 regular-season games in his four seasons with the Chiefs, totaling 23.5 sacks.
Clark often had his most productive games in the postseason. Clark played in 12 playoff games for the Chiefs and had 10.5 sacks. He had three sacks in a divisional round game against the Houston Texans after the 2019 season. Counting his time with the Seahawks, Clark has 13.5 career postseason sacks, third all time.
Clark was suspended by the NFL for two games during the 2022 season for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. Clark, in September, pleaded no contest in Los Angeles to two counts of misdemeanor possession of an assault weapon and was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he has 58.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles in his career.
ESPN’s Adam Teicher contributed to this report.
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