Colts change strategy with Clark

February 21, 2008
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Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark is getting a raise. A big one. Two years ago, Clark was making $650,000. With the six-year contract Clark inked yesterday, he now figures to make $6 million plus per year. That doesn’t approach the $11 million the Colts paid quarterback Peyton Manning last year, or the whopping $30 million signing bonus the team doled out for defensive end Dwight Freeney. But Clark’s new contract will make him the highest paid tight end in the National Football League, sources said.

The Colts' strategy with Clark is quite a departure from the team’s previous salary cap tactics when they let tight ends Marcus Pollard and Ken Dilger go when both still had considerable tread left on their tires.

“It boils down to the versatility Clark brings to the table, the chemistry he brings to the locker room, the fact that he has excellent hands, is able to find the soft spot in the defense and is a clutch receiver,” said Ed Thompson, an NFL writer for Scout.com and publisher of ColtPower.com.

It may also have something to do with team owner Jim Irsay’s appetite for winning. League insiders said Irsay has become hungrier since notching his first Super Bowl championship as an owner in 2007. Irsay has increased the team’s payroll from $54.2 million in 2000 to a league leading $131.2 million in 2006. Last season it was down to $103 million, but NFL insiders expect it to bump back up with Clark’s signing.

Do you think Clark is worth the money the Colts are paying?
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  • As a huge Colts supporter I couldn't be happier that we secured Dallas for six more years. He truly is a unique player in the league, and he creates multiple problems for opposing defenses. His production really increased this season, and with he and Peyton's relationship I do not see any reason why that trend will not progress. Moreover, Dallas is well-behaved off the field and represents the Colts and the city of Indianapolis extremely well. I had not seen the numbers for the Colts payroll before reading this blog and I find the figures very interesting. It appears that Irsay is in the business for the right reason: to win games and entertain the fans. This is probably why he is gaining much respect throughout the league, and I like him more as an owner each day. I think that with the key players that we have under contract for the next couple of years that we will remain at the top of the league, and our franchise will probably have the best 10 year run in league history when it is all said and done. Does anybody have any predictions for possible additions the Colts will do this offseason via free agency or draft?
  • Bill Polian is known for not dealing in the free agent market. So don't expect too much there. The Colts have no first round draft choice this year. My sources tell me, they are looking at Oniel Cousins, an offensive tackle from UTEP with their first pick, No. 59 overall. With Jake Scott still a free agent, they could use some help on the O-line. But if defenders Chris Ellis of Virginia Tech or Ahtyba Rubin of Iowa State are available, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Colts snag them to shore up the defense. The Colts also have their eyes on outside linebacker Erin Henderson, of Maryland, and defensive end Darrell Robertson, of Georgia Tech, who could be available in the second or third round.
  • Couldn't happen for a better guy. Dallas Clark show a strong work ethic and is a terrific representative for Indianapolis and the organization.

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  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

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