Dallas Clark

King’s Latest: Peterson, Cowboys, Forsett

Following a wild Tuesday in the NFL, Peter King of TheMMQB.com introduced a one-time-only Wednesday Morning Quarterback column to reflect on yesterday’s highlights from around the NFL. The piece included a handful of interesting tidbits worth passing along, so let’s dive in….

  • King hears that running back Adrian Peterson hasn’t changed his mind about wanting out of Minnesota, and notes that if a team like the Jaguars or Raiders ends up landing DeMarco Murray, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys could be willing to move a draft pick for the Vikings star.
  • Speaking of Murray and the Cowboys, LeSean McCoy‘s lucrative new contract with the Bills is having a “chilling effect” on Dallas’ efforts to re-sign the NFL’s leading rusher, says King.
  • The Ravens would very much like to re-sign Justin Forsett, but are expected to bow out if the bidding gets too high.
  • Seahawks GM John Schneider only had first-round grades on 16 players in this year’s draft class, so when he parted with the No. 31 overall pick in yesterday’s Jimmy Graham trade, he essentially viewed that pick as a second-rounder.
  • The league appears to be concerned, but “not fuming,” over all the contract agreements that were leaked before the start of the free agent period. We heard yesterday that the league had asked teams to hang onto their phone records, but King doesn’t believe we’ll see much more than “an angry finger-wag” at teams and their general managers.
  • Jameis Winston met with commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL officials last Thursday, in a meeting that was instigated by the young quarterback and his camp, writes King. The purpose of the sit-down was to allow Winston to tell his own story about his history of off-field incidents, and to get the lay of the land for his future in the NFL. “He went out of his way to make a good impression, and to show that he understood what was going to be expected of him in the NFL,” one league official told King.

Dallas Clark To Retire As A Colt

Veteran tight end Dallas Clark will officially announce his retirement this Wednesday in a morning press conference, the Colts announce today in a team release. According to the release, Clark will sign a one-day contract with Indianapolis in order to retire as a member of the Colts.

Clark, who turned 35 last week, was a longtime target for Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, racking up 427 receptions for 4,887 yards and 46 TDs in nine seasons as a member of the Colts. During the last two years, Clark joined the Buccaneers and Ravens, adding 78 more catches to his resumé to exceed 500 for his career. The former 24th overall pick enjoyed his best overall season in 2009, setting career-highs in catches (100) and receiving yards (1,106), while earning a spot in the Pro Bowl and on the NFL’s All-Pro team.

According to the Colts’ press release, Clark will finish his career tied for sixth among tight ends in NFL history in receiving touchdowns, tied for eighth in receptions, and 15th in receiving yards.

Lions Notes: Austin, Pettigrew

New Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has big shoes to fill, replacing 32-year NFL veteran Gunther Cunningham. Austin, 21 years Cunningham’s junior, just landed his first coordinating job at the pro level, and is expected to employ a more blitz-heavy defense than his predecessor, according to Justin Rogers of MLive.com“We’re going to probably stay more in a 4-3, in terms of what we have personnel-wise,” said Austin. “Our pressures with our linebackers will be coming from different angles, different things that way, instead of a per se ‘rush linebacker’ that I’m used to dealing with.” Rogers said the odds do not favor the team pursuing an aforementioned rush linebacker in the draft or free agency, noting all three of the team’s starting linebackers from last season are under contract for 2014.

Other notes from the Motor City:

  • Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi touched on his tight end philosophy in a story relayed by ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein, important given the free-agent status of Brandon Pettigrew. “It’s important to have a guy that can block the point of attack,” said Lombardi. “That’s important. A lot of teams are going to back-or-forth these days and you need a tight end that can hold up against those guys. And then, you want a guy who can be a pass receiver so you’re always looking for those well-rounded guys.”
  • Pettigrew played 925 out of 1,158 snaps for the Lions offense last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Rothstein notes that the Lions emphasized Pettigrew’s run-blocking ability to spearhead a running game led by Reggie Bush and Joique Bell that finished No. 17 in rushing yards last season.
  • If North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron or Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins were available in the second round, Rothstein said either two would be a sound investment. However, Ebron is widely regarded as the best tight end in the 2014 class and highly unlikely to make it out of the top-32.
  • Rothstein cites Dennis Pitta and Dallas Clark, who each played for head coach Jim Caldwell at some point, as potential replacements if Pettigrew is not retained, as well as former Jet and current Dolphin Dustin Keller .