Prosecutors officially have charged Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark with felony possession of an assault weapon. Now, he officially faces up to three years in prison.
Via TMZ.com, authorities made the formal charge on Friday. Police arrested clark on June 20 after spotting an uzi inside an open duffle bag during a routine traffic stop in Los Angeles. Clark claims the gun belonged to a member of his security team.
Another hearing in the case happens next week. Clark undoubtedly faces discipline under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy, if he ultimately pleads guilty to any charges, or if he’s convicted. With a felony charge official filed against him, the more immediate question becomes whether the Commissioner will place him on paid leave. The policy gives the Commissioner broad discretion to place on the Commissioner-Exempt list any player who has been charged with a felony.
The stakes are high, both for Clark and the Chiefs. If Clark lands on paid leave and if the case isn’t resolved before the end of the 2021 season, the Chiefs will pay him $18.5 million to not play football this season.
His base salary for the coming season became guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap in March 2020. The Chiefs, if faced with $18.5 million in 2021 cash and cap charges, could release Clark for a stated reason other than skill, injury, or cap, in an attempt to avoid the 2021 salary obligation.