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Dallas Clark could be a Manning target again

Dallas Clark AP

Dallas Clark spent his first eight NFL seasons as one of Peyton Manning’s favorite targets, then joined Manning in getting cut by the Colts this week. Now Clark is an unrestricted free agent, and he may be a Manning target again.

Just as several reports have indicated that the team that signs Manning will be the immediate frontrunner to sign former Colts receiver Reggie Wayne as well, signing Clark could make sense for the team that signs Manning as well. Manning is a creature of habit who would surely love to have familiar receivers around him to ease the transition into a new offense, wherever he ends up.

The difference between Wayne and Clark, however, is that Wayne appears to have more gas left in the tank than Clark does. Wayne’s numbers declined just as everyone’s numbers declined in the Manning-less Indianapolis offense last season, but he still started all 16 games and caught 75 passes for 960 yards. Clark had only 34 catches for 352 yards last season while being hobbled by a leg injury.

But the fact that Clark doesn’t appear to have a lot left should mean that he’ll be affordable for whatever team signs Manning. There won’t be a whole lot of suitors for Clark’s services.

One team that may be interested, however, is the place where Peyton’s brother plays: The Giants lost two tight ends, Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, to torn ACLs in the Super Bowl, and both are expected to open the 2012 season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Even if Clark is no longer playing at a Pro Bowl level he’s an upgrade at the position for the defending champions.

So Clark could make sense as a target for Manning next season. Either Peyton or Eli.

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22 Responses to “Dallas Clark could be a Manning target again”
  1. mobuccsfan says: Mar 10, 2012 1:48 PM

    Yeah, that was my immediate thought yesterday when reading about his release. I still think the Colts could surprise everybody and rob a team blind and get a bounty of picks this year and next year and totally rebuild. Doubtful because they want that franchise QB that is so important for any franchise to build a team around, but I won’t rule out anything until the 1st pick is in and the draft is underway. You just never know. There are some FA QBs still that would be better than Painter, Orlovsky and Collins combined, of course Painter is gone too, which I think is smart on the Colts.

    Back on topic…I think its 90 percent that Clark goes to wherever Peyton ends up or he goes to NYG.

  2. pbbananasammich says: Mar 10, 2012 1:59 PM

    The Giants don’t put much value on expensive TEs, hence undrafted Jake Ballard being the starter and Kevin Boss previously. They use low draft picks and sign young guys, Bear Pascoe, from the waiver wire they can develop. There’s no chance they waste money on soon to be 33 year-old Clark.

  3. ken0west says: Mar 10, 2012 1:59 PM

    Clark is going to have to beat out Tebow for the starting H-Back job in Denver.

  4. indyspeedo says: Mar 10, 2012 2:01 PM

    What better way to teach the Manning offense than to have Reggie and Dallas to help educate and get everybody up to snuff. A team with cap space and a line with a decent defense would be an immediate contender. I would love to see the trio in Miami! Booking a trip to see them as soon as they sign.

  5. geo91 says: Mar 10, 2012 2:03 PM

    Could you imagine if the three of them held a presser to announce they’re taking their talents to south beach to join the dolphins, followed by an unveiling concert haha that would be hilarious AND disgusting!

  6. jrcoop says: Mar 10, 2012 2:07 PM

    On PFT’s To Do list for the Dolphins…

    Seam TE, deep threat WR, interior line (Saturday), QB.

    That was easy.

  7. mobuccsfan says: Mar 10, 2012 2:11 PM

    lol@geo91.

    @pbb

    Like the article states though, he probably realizes he isn’t going to get much in the end regardless and could be tempted/intrigued by the idea of playing with Peyton’s brother. I don’t think the G-Men will repeat at all, but it is a possibility and they could definitely win another SB in the next three years, which like Peyton, I think Clark would actually care more about. He would fill an obvious need based on the injuries to Ballard and Beckum and could have one to two more shots at another SB ring or rings. And that is still important to some players. I believe Clark fits that description, IMO. It at least has to be considered. And why do I say that about the G-Men? They got a good coach and a great GM. There teams aren’t great great by any means but they are pretty damn good and consistent pretty much every year and always a favorite to take the NFC East crown.

  8. nannymcsack says: Mar 10, 2012 2:23 PM

    or the patriots use him to keep gronk and hernandez in line, like they did with alge crumpler in 2010

  9. enochmh2 says: Mar 10, 2012 2:26 PM

    People lets not forget peyton manning has only played in one offence his entire career,then there is the issue with his health and arm strength. This reunion that I keep hearing now may not work out,besides theres areason why wayne,clarke,addai etc are free agents

  10. colt2011 says: Mar 10, 2012 3:00 PM

    Since Peyton was tied up in meetings with Elway and the Broncos Friday, I bet his cell phone was buzzing out of his pocket! Can’t help but wonder what he thought after he most likely heard from someone who got cut. He’s pretty tight with Reggie, Dallas and Jeff of course. The deep roster cuts after he left must have been a shocker.

    Here’s a guy travelling across the country trying to find a new job home and when he emerges from a 6 hour interview, he learns that 5 of his buddies got whacked from the same roster he lead for 14 years.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that this latest slice and dice will have an affect on where Peyton decides to go. That team might have to/try to lure him by picking up a few of this former teammates. A few familiar weapons would be an advantage. It’s not meant to be forever, but taking a fast run for the trophy would be in reach within 2 years.

    It might be that the final team on his job hunt (Miami) will have more cards to deal for his decision. May not be a big paycheque but it’s a job. Dolphins could have the advantage here.

  11. bobby4413 says: Mar 10, 2012 3:01 PM

    I wonder how new Colt QB Luck feels about all these moves? This adds a whole new meaning to “suck for Luck”. I smell an Elway/Eli style holdout.

  12. pbbananasammich says: Mar 10, 2012 3:07 PM

    @moebuccs

    Yes, the article makes the point that Giants have injuries at TE and Clark could possibly be an affordable fix. However, the 10 year veterans minimum is $910 k and the ACL injuries which Beckum and Ballard suffered in SB XLVI should have them back by October at the latest and possibly week 1. Considering the fact that Eli and the coaching is the reason why Giants TE succeed, then it’s safe to assume that Dallas Clark will not be a Giant.

    Sidenote: Dallas a Giant?!?!?

  13. gamecheck1 says: Mar 10, 2012 3:32 PM

    I’ll welcome you to the GMEN Dallas! Did I just say Dallas to NY? Interesting!

  14. careerender56 says: Mar 10, 2012 3:56 PM

    would much rather have Fleener at 32, Clark is a horrendous blocker and that is the main role of a TE in the Giants offense

  15. underrated49ers says: Mar 10, 2012 4:04 PM

    Between Manning, Saturday, Clark, Wayne, Garcon, and Addai, a team could theoretically purchase half of the Colts starting offense of the past 5 years.

    It really is a buyers market this year.

  16. detroitrollin22 says: Mar 10, 2012 4:09 PM

    Miami Colts

  17. cali49er707 says: Mar 10, 2012 5:24 PM

    careerender56 says:
    Mar 10, 2012 3:56 PM
    would much rather have Fleener at 32, Clark is a horrendous blocker and that is the main role of a TE in the Giants offense

    if the 9ers dont give that 30th pick to the steelers for wallace, their is talk in the bay that harbaugh will draft fleener considering he knows him.

  18. jonirocit says: Mar 10, 2012 5:38 PM

    On PFT’s To Do list for the Dolphins…

    Seam TE, deep threat WR, interior line (Saturday), QB.

    That was easy.

    That’s what I was thinking …Do it Ross …no more excuses

  19. croghan1919 says: Mar 10, 2012 6:10 PM

    If the same team picks up Manning, Wayne, Garcon AND Clark I’m calling my bookie.

  20. switch123 says: Mar 10, 2012 7:29 PM

    Talk about aging your team instead og getting younger

  21. dannyutah13 says: Mar 10, 2012 8:04 PM

    Its actually quite simple guys…If a team wanting Peyton quickly signs Clark, They can contact Manning and say “Wayne is next if you come aboard”. Hint hint Miami. Then say “we’re getting an OT with our 1st pick in the draft.” Clark could battle with Fasano at TE and having Reggie Wayne opposite Marshall would be quite formidable. Especially with Bess in the slot. Can u imagine that???? Reggie Bush in the backfield is FOR REAL in Miami, so use the rest of the picks on D and hope for some hidden gems. Thats it, and thats all folks…..Superbowl!

  22. randomguy9999 says: Mar 10, 2012 8:20 PM

    at least even money the Phins will end up doing the Peyton Sweep…. Manning Wayne Clark….

    that will be surreal….

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