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BALTIMORE — Not satisfied in stopping with veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley, the Ravens added another experienced option to their passing game on Sunday.
General manager Ozzie Newsome and 34-year-old tight end Dallas Clark agreed in principle to a deal on Sunday, head coach John Harbaugh announced after Sunday’s practice at M&T Bank Stadium. Quite familiar with Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell from their days together in Indianapolis, Clark provides Baltimore with another veteran option at tight end with the injuries to Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.
Clark also frequently worked in the slot in his days with the Colts and was a valuable option on third down, something the Ravens are looking for with Pitta and Anquan Boldin no longer at their disposal.
“He’s a great stop, option, [and] crossing-route guy, so that’s the type of routes that move the chains,” Harbugh said. “He has a good catch radius. Those are the things that Dennis excelled at, so those are things that he excels at.”
Clark spent the first nine years of his NFL career with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis before playing in Tampa Bay last season. After injuries limited Clark to just 17 combined games in his final two seasons with the Colts, Clark played in all 16 games for the Buccaneers last year, catching 47 passes for 435 yards and four touchdowns.
There had been reports in recent days that Clark was drawing interest from teams and the Ravens had apparently been talking with him for quite some time.
Baltimore added 33-year-old tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on July 28, just a day after the season-ending hip injury to Pitta. While Dickson continues to work his way back from a hamstring injury suffered on Aug. 4, Clark will help quell concerns about the Ravens’ depth at the tight end position.
“I’ve got a couple guys that I can pick their brain, a couple guys that have been doing well in the league,” said Dickson, who wouldn’t offer a timetable on his return to the field after Sunday’s practice. “You’ve got to have numbers; you never know what’s going to happen. With me down and Dallas Clark coming in, we’re going to show him the ropes and see what he can do for us.”
In 10 professional seasons, Clark has caught 474 passes for 5,322 yard and 50 touchdowns. His best season came in 2009 when he caught 100 passes for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning his only trip to the Pro Bowl.