NFL Free Agency 2012: Would Dallas Clark Be a Fit for the New York Giants?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IMarch 10, 2012

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 03: Tight end Dallas Clark #44 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball against Safety Sean Jones #26 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

The Giants are in need of a tight end for the 2012 season. We all know this.

We've been speculating on whether they could draft a tight end in April's NFL Draft. There's Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener and Orson Charles, who are all available.

On Friday night, a new name entered the free agent market. One of the more premier names on the tight end market.

Michael David Smith of NBC's ProFootballTalk reported that the Indianapolis Colts decided to release long-time tight end Dallas Clark after he spent nine seasons with the Colts, the team that drafted him back in 2003.

Clark will be 33 years old this June and is coming off an unproductive season in 2011, mostly due to the fact that Peyton Manning was out for the entire season.

In 11 games, Clark only caught 34 passes for 352 yards and just two touchdowns. But the Colts also only won two games and went through three different quarterbacks not named Manning.

The year before in 2010, Clark spent most of the season hurt and on the injured reserve, hurting his wrist in a game against the Redskins.

The 2009 season was Clark's best as a professional, catching 100 passes for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Clark was always one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets to throw to, and he could be another favorite target for another guy named Manning too if the Giants were to ever get involved.

The Giants are starting to shed some cap room in free agency; Brandon Jacobs became a cap casualty on Friday after he was released.

Eli Manning also restructured his contract to help the Giants save an extra $6.7 million in cap room.

Before being released, Dallas Clark had two years remaining of the six-year, $41 million deal he signed with the Colts back in February of 2008, shortly after Indianapolis franchised him.

I don't know what Clark would ask for as a 33-year-old tight end who has two not-so-great seasons.

But as a tight end, he's still a top quality name that just became available on the market.

And if he doesn't follow Peyton Manning to wherever he does decide to call home next, I think Jerry Reese should at least see what the asking price is.

With Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum both likely to start the season on the PUP List, the Giants have an obvious hole to fill before the 2012 season.

Could they go for Clark to fill it? He could easily fit into the Giants offense, where Eli passed for almost 5,000 yards a season ago.

Will Reese have interest in the former Colts tight end?

Only time will tell.