Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/21/12

Free agent tight end Dallas Clark is most likely to sign with the Tampa Bay Bucs, as various Monday reports indicated in the wake of Kellen Winslow's announcement that he has been apprised to remain away from the team's OTA sessions because he no longer fits into the franchise's plans.

But the Bucs still have some competition for Clark's services, league sources told The Sports Xchange on Monday afternoon. The other two clubs Clark has visited with in recent weeks, New England and Kansas City, have remained in contact with him. It is not clear if the Pats or Chiefs have tendered formal contract proposals to Clark, but they have retained a dialogue with the nine-year veteran and his representatives.

A resolution of the three-pronged pursuit of the former Indianapolis star probably will come in the next day or two, most likely with him ending up with Tampa Bay, where he recently visited with coaches and team officials. But it appears that Clark, released by the Colts in March, has some options and at least a modicum of leverage in negotiations.

Interest in the onetime Pro Bowl tight end essentially debunks a recent report that he might never play again because of injuries. Last month, agent Neil Cornrich told The Sports Xchange that he "would be surprised" and that "it would be news to (Clark)" if the report was accurate.

Clark, who will be 33 next month, has started only 16 games (17 appearances) the past two seasons because of wrist and fibula injuries. For his career, he has 427 catches for 4,887 yards and 46 touchdowns. In 2010, his last healthy season and the only year in his career in which he started all 16 games, Clark had 100 catches.

If the Bucs trade or release Winslow, whose absence from early OTA sessions were said to have angered rookie coach Greg Schiano, the team would clearly need a tight end with the kind of receiving ability Clark has demonstrated in his career.

There are six other tight ends on the current Tampa Bay roster, in addition to Winslow, and none has more than a dozen career receptions. In fact, the six tight ends, two of whom are rookies, total only 19 receptions among them. Acquired from Cleveland in a 2009 trade, Winslow averaged 72.6 catches in his three seasons with the Bucs, and led the club in receptions each of the past three years.

Clark has generally been a "flexed" tight end much of his career, and the former Colts first-round choice was often aligned in the slot, or flanked as a wide receiver because of the matchup problems he created for secondaries. Because he is not regarded as a strong blocker, Clark might not be a perfect fit for the physical, run-first philosophy Schiano has espoused, but would provide a presence in the middle of the field for the passing game.

Even if the Bucs add Clark, second-year veteran Luke Stocker, a fourth-round pick in 2011 who started nine games as a rookie, could remain the starter because of his in-line blocking skills.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Osweiler will not play at all in third preseason game

LeSean McCoy seemingly responds to trade rumors

Hue Jackson: Kizer 'positioning himself well' to win starting job

Grading the deal: Celtics, Cavs trade Kyrie and Isaiah Thomas

Jon Jones tests positive for steroids, reportedly stripped of title

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Bills have not made LeSean McCoy available in trades

Emmanuel Sanders involved in car accident on way to team facility

Old Isaiah Thomas tweet about LeBron goes viral following trade

Reports: Cavs, Celtics complete trade involving Irving, Thomas

Report: Smaller-market teams support Pacers in tampering case against Lakers

Report: MRI confirms ankle sprain for Odell Beckham Jr.

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

BIG3 Referee Hotline: Calls routed from 1-900-MIX-A-LOT

The 'When the Doctor took the Big Apple by storm' quiz

The Indians are on a mission to make you pay attention whether you want to or not

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker