Packers: What Chris Jones deal could mean for Kenny Clark

Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Chris Jones’ deal could make it difficult for the Packers to re-sign Kenny Clark.

Green Bay Packers star defensive tackle Kenny Clark is entering the final year of his deal.

The Packers won’t be too pleased to see the mega-deal the Kansas City Chiefs just handed to their top defensive lineman Chris Jones.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle has agreed to a four-year deal worth $85 million with $60 million guaranteed.

Packers might not be able to afford to re-sign Clark

What Jones’ deal does is sets the market. Jones is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL, especially rushing the passer. He has made 31 sacks and 62 quarterback hits over the past three seasons.

Even if Clark doesn’t get the same deal Jones does, he deserves a big contract. Clark, too, is one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Clark had the second-most pressures by interior linemen last season with 62.

The Packers may decide to use the franchise tag on Clark — as the Chiefs did so they wouldn’t lose Jones — before working out a long-term deal over the summer.

But with limited cap room available, it won’t be easy for Green Bay to pay Clark, pay David Bakhtiari, and then also be active in free agency next offseason. And that’s before we include the team’s other top free agents in 2021 such as Aaron Jones, Corey Linsley, and Kevin King.

Chris Jones has received a huge deal, and it’s well deserved. But Clark, one of the best young defensive tackles in the NFL, could soon receive a similar contract.

Hopefully, the Packers will find a way to work out a long-term deal with Clark. He’s so important to this defense and would be difficult to replace. But Jones’ new deal won’t make it any easier for the Packers.