Kenny Clark could be offered a new long-term deal this offseason.
Gutekunst will face some tough decisions in free agency this offseason. Clark won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season as the Packers exercised his fifth-year option, but agreeing on a long-term deal sooner rather than later would be a good move by Gutekunst.
And it looks like the Packers’ GM agrees.
“Kenny’s a big part of what we do, very important to our defense,” Gutekunst said during his season-ending press conference on Friday. “I’m optimistic we’ll be able to come to some agreement at some point.”
“These things don’t happen quickly usually, but the idea was always sometime this offseason we would start to approach that, and we will.”
Clark has become a star player along the defensive line for Green Bay. He earned Pro Bowl selection for the first time in 2019 after making a career-best 62 tackles, while also tying his career-best of six sacks. Clark also made six tackles and a sack in the playoffs.
One of Gutekunst’s offseason tasks needs to be to get Clark more help up front along the defensive line, but just as important is ensuring the Packers’ best defensive tackle isn’t playing for another team in 2021. Clark deserves a long-term deal after four excellent seasons in Green Bay, and it should happen this summer.
Of course, by giving Clark a big deal, the Packers may not have as much cap room to be as active in free agency as they were a year ago, but they should still have plenty of room to make some moves.