The latest rumors have free agent tight end Dallas Clark signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Clark will be starting the second part of his career, after spending his first 9 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
Clark has been plagued with injuries the last 2 seasons, missing a total of 15 games. At 32 years of age, the time for him to be an elite NFL tight end, is certainly dwindling.
So how does he fit in with a young Bucs team?
The team is also rumored to be dealing the current starting tight end, Kellen Winslow, so Clark figures to be the new starter. It’s going to be his job to lose.
Clark will have to exceed Winslow’s 763 receiving yards, and 2 TD’s from a year ago to be deemed a success. If healthy, this should be no problem.
Personally, I feel that Clark has to not only prove he can stay healthy again, but that he can be successful without Peyton Manning. The ‘Manning effect’ seems to be real, after the Colts absolutely looked terrible without him last season, with basically the same roster as the year before.
It’s fair to wonder if Manning took Clark from good, to great.
Regardless, Clark still has the potential to be one of the best tight ends in the league. He will provide a reliable safety valve for quarterback Josh Freeman, and should bring knowledge and leadership to the young Bucs.
As far as expectations? Clark could easily rack up 800 yards and 6 TD’s, if healthy. Overall, I give this move a thumbs up. Clark is an upgrade from Winslow, and instantly makes them better on offense.