Dallas Clark Will Retire from NFL: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJune 16, 2014

AP Images

Tight end Dallas Clark will announce his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday in an 11 a.m. press conference as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.  

The team's official Twitter broke the news Monday, noting in a press release that Clark's meeting with the media will occur at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center:

Colts.com's Craig Kelley shared what Clark had to say about walking away from the game, representing the team with which he spent the majority of his 11-year career:

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport felt it was an appropriate gesture by Clark to single out the Colts as the team with which he'll be forever associated:

Andy Garman of KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa, noted how Clark made the most of any sliver of opportunity at all stages of his football career:

Indianapolis selected Clark, who starred at Iowa, No. 24 overall in the 2003 NFL draft. His dynamic pass-catching ability hinted at a sign of what was to come in passing attacks across the league.

Quarterback Peyton Manning had the likes of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to throw to until Harrison's final season in 2008. The very next year was Clark's best in the pros. He nabbed 100 receptions for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2009, leading to his lone Pro Bowl bid and All-Pro honors.

Unfortunately, Clark's last two seasons with the Colts were marred by health issues. First was a nagging wrist injury in 2010, along with other ailments in 2011 that caused him to miss 15 regular-season games in that span. The veteran was then released before the 2012 campaign.

After only modest production with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that year and the Baltimore Ravens this last season, no other team had signed Clark this offseason. That suggested the end of his career was imminent.

Clark (left) with Colts owner Jim Irsay (center) and Peyton Manning.
Clark (left) with Colts owner Jim Irsay (center) and Peyton Manning.Darron Cummings/Associated Press/Associated Press

Clark, 35, will be remembered as a key cog in the Colts' explosive offense during Manning's heyday, and retiring with the franchise will only bolster his legacy and class.

With how much of an understanding Clark had to have of the game playing alongside Manning, the Colts should encourage him to hang around the current team as much as possible. General manager Ryan Grigson drafted two young, promising tight ends in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in 2012, along with QB Andrew Luck.

Whether Clark gets into coaching at any point remains to be seen, but he'd certainly have plenty of invaluable wisdom to impart on the likes of Fleener, Allen and others. Given how Clark is held in such high regard by the Colts, there's little doubt others would listen to Clark's counsel.