The Green Bay Packers have made Kenny Clark the highest-paid nose tackle in NFL history after agreeing with him on a record-setting four-year extension worth $70 million. Clark, the 27th overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft, will receive a $25 million signing bonus and he is now the 12th highest-paid defensive player in the league.
Clark left the Packers practice facility around 6 p.m. extremely exhausted and he was asleep by 8 p.m. but the buzzing of his phone around midnight woke him up as his mom and agent Doug Hendrickson were trying to get him. "They were like, 'Man, we've got to get this deal done,'" Clark said, per ESPN.
"I was like, 'I was asleep.' We talked about it. He went through the numbers, went through everything, and I was like, 'Man, let's do it. I'm willing to do it.' This morning, we had to really move fast because we were getting ready to go out and practice."
After the Packers defense gathered on the practice field, Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine wanted to share the positive news with the team. "Coach Pettine brought us all up and they came out and said I had just got paid or whatever, and everybody was just happy, man," Clark said.
"It's a family here. Love it here, love the guys here, love playing with everybody here. I'm excited about being on this team."
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers praises Clark
Rodgers, who has been the biggest name on the Packers roster for the last decade and a half, sees the impact Clark has on the team and he is happy to have him on the team.
"I think Kenny sometimes has been an underrated player for us over the years," Rodgers said. "He's a solid force inside. I think his game has expanded every year. His ability to pass rush I think has been the biggest jump.
He's always been really stout at the point of attack and the run game, quick enough to shed blocks, but I think he's lived ... in mild anonymity I think at times, when Mike Daniels was here and Clay Matthews on defense kind of getting notoriety and the Smith brothers last year.
But I think the teams that play him know how dominant he can be, and I had the pleasure of working out with him in the offseason. He's a fantastic guy. He's a quiet guy who goes about his business the right way. He's found his voice at times and his leadership role has increased over the years.
It's been fun to watch him kind of step into that opportunity. He's one of those guys you just know you can count on every single week."