After the 2020 season the Packers have some serious decisions to make. The team has superstars as well as rising players that will face free agency. Among those names some included with Kenny Clark are:
- All Pro Left Tackle David Bakhitiari
- Starting Corner Kevin King
- Starting Running Back Aaron Jones
- Allen Lazard
- Chandon Sullivan
- Jamal Williams
All those players are valuable looking into the future, but a few are in their own league. Namely, David Bakhitiari, Kenny Clark, and Aaron Jones. However, David Bakhtiari seems like a lock to get a new deal, and running back is a position that remains so fluid in the NFL it’s hard to predict anything. Ultimately, that leaves the big question for one of the best young players in the league, Kenny Clark.
Kenny Clark passes every test on the football field making it very difficult to not bring him back for the long haul. Since his rookie year in 2016 Clark has played more and more snaps every year. in 2019, Clark started all 16 games and was named a pro bowler. Kenny Clark has an argument as the best player on the Packers very young defense. Last season he had six sacks, nine tackles for a loss, 7 quarterback hits, and 62 tackles. Those numbers stack up with the elite defensive tackles in the NFL. However, what makes Kenny Clark different is the fact that he’s only 24 years old. Unfortunately, in the NFL it all comes down to money and trade off.
Kenny Clark has stated that he wants a new contract from the Packers. He has stated that his agent and the origination have had discussions. At the same time, he recognized that with all that’s going on outside of football in the world that it’s difficult to put a timeline on a new contract. Clark has continued to put in work during the off season and is confident that a deal will get done soon. On the other hand, the Packers have a lot to consider when they start dishing out contract extensions. Outside of Kenny Clark the other two contract that have great importance are on the offensive side of the football. Aaron Jones who broke out as the starting running back; and David Bakhtiari, who may view as the best left tackle in football. All three guys have proven why they deserve to be paid.
If the Packers are able to keep all three guys it will come with a trade off. Most likely, the team will lose Kevin King and Jamal Williams. The Packers drafted A.J Dillion in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. With the addition of another running back, Jamal Williams may become a cap casualty after this season. The same goes for Kevin King who has battled injuries for most of his career. However, in 2019 he started 14 games and had five interceptions. It will all come down to who the Packers value more in the future; and considering how rare it is to find star defensive tackles, the Packers may already have their answer.
Ultimately, the Packers will find it very hard to justify not extending Clark. I believe they 100 percent should bring him back for a long term deal. Clark is one of the best young players in the NFL and is still getting better. Keeping him on a young defense will let him become a leader and the anchor for years to come.