Tight end Dallas Clark will announce his retirement from the NFL in a press conference on Wednesday. Clark will sign a contract with the Indianapolis Colts prior to his announcement, so that he can retire with the team, according to the Colts' website.
Clark will join Jeff Saturday as the only two players to re-sign with the team for the specific purpose of retiring as Colts. Saturday did this just last year, after playing a season with the Green Bay Packers. Clark spent nine seasons with the Colts before leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, and then the Baltimore Ravens this past season.
A prolific receiving threat, Clark racked up 505 receptions for 5,665 yards and 53 touchdowns over the course of his career. That total includes 11 touchdowns in 2007 and 10 in 2009, with a career-high 1,106 yards in the latter year. As for retiring a Colt, that's a big deal for Clark, who said in a statement on the team's website that it is "an honor I can't even explain."
"For the Irsay family and Colts family to do this is an honor, something I can't thank anyone for enough," Clark said, "It's so special I can't even express how awesome it is." Of his 5,665 receiving yards, Clark put up 4,887 of them while playing with the Colts.
Originally a first-round pick in 2003, Clark lived up to all of the lofty expectations that came with his draft position. Those expectations were especially high given that many expected Indianapolis to address a slumping defense with its first-round selection that year. He finishes his career as a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro (both occurring in 2009), and with a Super Bowl ring from the Colts' win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.