Broncos to sign veteran pass rusher Frank Clark to one-year deal with Baron Browning sidelined with knee issue

Jun. 8—ENGLEWOOD — The Broncos didn't sign an edge rusher in free agency and didn't draft one. They didn't sign XFL sack leader Trent Harris after he was a tryout player with the team last month.

On Thursday, though, Denver made a splash by agreeing to sign veteran edge rusher Frank Clark to a one-year deal. A source said Clark, who turns 30 on Wednesday, will get a one-year deal with a guaranteed base salary of $5.5 million and it could be worth up to $7.5 million with incentives.

Clark will provide pass rushing with starting outside linebacker Baron Browning being sidelined with a knee issue. Browning missed all three weeks of organized team activities, which concluded Thursday. Denver's 9News reported that he recently underwent surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus and it's not out of the question he might not be ready for the start of the regular season.

Clark was released March 7 after four seasons with Kansas City, which included making the Pro Bowl in his first three years with the team. He played his first four seasons with Seattle, including having a career-high 13 sacks in 2018.

Clark has 58 1/2 sacks in eight NFL seasons. He had five last season while winning his second Super Bowl ring with the Chiefs.

The Broncos conclude spring drills with a mandatory minicamp Tuesday through Thursday at the Centura Health Training Center. Browning will not participate, and it remains to be seen what his status will be after training camp gets underway in late July.


Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton had his name come up during the offseason in trade rumors. He didn't deny it feels good to potentially be wanted but was happy no deal was done.

"Of course, it's flattering that other teams see me as a guy that can come in and be a guy for them," he said. "I love that I'm here. This is where ultimately I want to be at."

Sutton is entering his sixth Denver season and is excited to play for first-year coach Sean Payton. He had 64 catches last season for 829 yards.

"This is home being able to come here and continue to build the things that we're inspiring to get to, Coach Payton coming in, bringing in coaches that he brought in, bringing in guys that he's brought in," Sutton said. "Everybody's bought in and ready to take this level to the next level."


With the NFL recently having suspended five players and Indianapolis cornerback Isaiah Rodgers being under investigation for possible rules violations, gambling is a hot topic surrounding players.

Payton said the Broncos received an eight-page handout from the NFL that included rules on gambling, and it was discussed with the team. All NFL personnel are prohibited to bet on any league event. Players can bet on other sports but can't do so at a league facility or venue, while traveling on team or league business or while making an endorsement or promotional appearance.

"The packet we received, we looked at, studied closely and then we presented it in our own PowerPoint," Payton said. "I probably had 20 minutes on it to really make sure everyone has it. ... I presented (it) a week and a half ago, and now someone officially will present (it). Hopefully it won't be from that eight-page handout we received because that was more confusing after I read it than it was before I looked at it."

Linebacker Josey Jewell said Payton got right "to the point" in the meeting about gambling issues.

"There's been a lot of that lately coming out and he was very precise on what exactly you can and can't to," Jewell said.


Payton invited more than 150 high school coaches from nearly 70 Colorado schools to watch an OTA practice Wednesday. "The message to those guys really is you're welcome here," Payton said. "We appreciate the job you do." Payton told the coaches how his coach at Naperville (Ill.) Central High School, the late J.R. Bishop, had a big impact on his life. ... Thursday's final OTA practice included the Broncos going over all sorts of non-typical game situations. "There's a board where there's 43 things that are unique end-of-game, end-of-half, and sometimes middle-of-the-game situations that may come up once every four weeks (or) maybe once every two years," he said. ... On the Broncos having just five running backs on the roster, Payton said part of it is "getting a chance to look at other players." ... Safety Caden Sterns had an impressive interception Thursday on a deep throw by Russell Wilson. "That was a heck of a play down the field and staying on top," Payton said.