Frank Clark took the stage for his introductory press conference with the Kansas City Chiefs way back in April of 2019, keen on clutching his red and gold jersey for the very first time.
Clark sat in-between Head Coach Andy Reid and General Manager Brett Veach as he fielded questions from local reporters, but one answer stood out amongst the rest.
"I want to win some championships," said Clark when asked to describe his goals in Kansas City. "I want to go to heights that I've never been. That's what I dream about."
Clark went on to make those dreams a reality during his four seasons in Kansas City, leading the Chiefs to three conference titles and two Super Bowl championships. He recorded 10.5 sacks in 12 postseason games with Kansas City, marking by far the most of any player in the league since 2019 and the most in the history of the Chiefs.
Additionally, Clark's 13.5 career postseason sacks (including his time in Seattle) are the third-most in NFL history, trailing only Willie McGinest (16) and Bruce Smith (14.5).
Clark was instrumental in engineering what has been the golden era of Chiefs football, and after four unforgettable years, the Chiefs bid farewell to the veteran pass-rusher on Tuesday.
"It's really hard to put into words what Frank has meant to our organization over the last four seasons," Veach said. "When we traded for him before the 2019 season, he came here with the goal of winning championships. We went to three Super Bowls in four seasons and won two of those, and there is no doubt that Frank was a significant part of bringing those Lombardi Trophies to Kansas City. 'The Shark' cemented his legacy here in Chiefs Kingdom with his play and his personality. These decisions are never easy, but we wish him the best as he continues his career."
"Frank is a special player and person," Coach Reid added. "You were able to see his play on the field, but if you talk to him, you realize how incredible his heart is. Frank gave us all his energy, he invested time in our younger players to help them grow, and it just shows you how passionate he is about the game. He'll always be a part of our history here and we appreciate the work he put in to help get us there."
One quality that made Clark such a special player in Kansas City was his ability to answer the moment when called upon, and it's something that he demonstrated time and time again.
He racked up three sacks in his first playoff game with the Chiefs, which included a take-down of Houston Texans' quarterback Deshaun Watson on the final defensive play of the game. He then went on to sack Tennessee Titans' quarterback Ryan Tannehill on the final defensive snap of the AFC Championship Game the following week, and in the most critical moments of Super Bowl LIV, Clark once again made his presence felt. In fact, protecting a four-point lead in the game's final minutes, Clark sacked San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on fourth down to flip possession back to Kansas City. Chiefs' tailback Damien Williams was in the end zone two snaps later, sealing the Chiefs' first Super Bowl victory in 50 years.
It's one thing to win a single championship, but it's something else entirely to win multiple Super Bowls, and that mindset is something that Clark preached throughout his time in the red and gold. He was never complacent, and that attitude helped the Chiefs' historically young defense win Super Bowl LVII this past February.
Clark recorded 2.5 sacks in three games during this most recent postseason run, dropping Cincinnati Bengals' quarterback Joe Burrow on each of the Bengals' first two possessions in the AFC Championship Game. His relentless pressure early in the contest set the tone that Kansas City was not going to be pushed around, and that mentality persisted throughout the game.
His efforts during the Chiefs' title run were a microcosm of his time in Kansas City as a whole, and while Clark's days with the Chiefs have come to an end, his legend will remain within the confines of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium forever.
Clark arrived in Kansas City in pursuit of his dreams, and in just four short years, he delivered on not only his goals, but also the wildest hopes of an entire fanbase.