Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Tight end Dallas Clark officially retired as an Indianapolis Colt during an emotional news conference at the team's facility Wednesday.
"Dallas is such a great football player who elevated the horseshoe to another level when he came in," Colts owner Jim Irsay said.
Clark spent nine of his 11 professional seasons with the Colts. He was a key part of two AFC champion teams with Indianapolis in the 2000s.
"My wife told me to keep it lighthearted. I just don't know how to do that because this place and these fans and everyone here mean so much to me," Clark said.
The 35-year-old ranks fourth in club history with 427 catches, while his 4,887 receiving yards are eclipsed only by Hall-of-Famer John Mackey for the most by a Colts tight end.
The 2009 Pro Bowl selection became only the second player during the Colts' tenure in Indianapolis to re-sign and retire with the organization. Clark's former teammate, center Jeff Saturday, did so last year.
"There's not 31 other teams like this. This is special." Clark said.
Chosen by Indianapolis with the 24th overall pick in the 2003 draft, Clark emerged as one of Peyton Manning's most trusted targets during his time with the Colts. He led the team with a career-high 11 touchdown catches in 2007, then posted career bests of 100 receptions and 1,106 yards two years later while helping Indianapolis reach Super Bowl XLIV.
Clark started 12 regular-season games during the Colts' 2006 campaign, which culminated with a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in Miami.
Released by Indianapolis in March of 2012, Clark went on to play one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spent 2013 with the Baltimore Ravens. Over 143 career games, he compiled 505 receptions for 5,665 yards and 53 touchdowns.