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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers notes: Dominik wants TE Clark to return

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Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 10:32 AM
MOBILE, Ala. -

While Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik spends his days here at the Senior Bowl doing the scouting portion of his job, he usually spends the evening tending to the business side.

 In addition to interviewing coaching candidates, Dominik spends a lot of the evenings meeting with the agents for prospective Bucs free agents to get a read on what they want to do once the free-agent market opens up.

 One such meeting Dominik hoped to have this week was with the agent for veteran tight end Dallas Clark, who Dominik would like to have back for at least another year, as long as Clark is interested in returning.

 "I need to talk to his agent and figure out where they're at first because that's where it all starts,'' Dominik said. "Two people have to come together to make a deal happen as opposed to one side is happy and the other isn't so sure what it wants to do yet.

 "But I was certainly happy with the way Dallas Clark played this year. He played 16 solid games and he stayed healthy, which is what a lot of people's concerns were.''

 Clark, signed as a free agent before the 2012 season after nine years in Indianapolis, caught 47 passes for 435 yards and four touchdowns, his best year from a statistical standpoint since 2009.

But Clark often sounded uncertain about his future in the game, much less in Tampa, near the end of the season.

 "Coach (Greg) Schiano talked to him at the end of the season, and I didn't get that sense from him,'' Dominik said. "I don't think Dallas Clark is contemplating retirement yet.

 "At the same time, we do have to sit back and look at the whole situation, and he has to make his decision. But the thing is, we brought him in here, and he played well for us. He was productive.''

 RINGING ENDORSEMENT:  Free agency is nothing more than a roll of the dice, but Dominik believes the Bucs hit the jackpot when they grabbed WR Vincent Jackson - and not just because of his production on the field.

 Jackson, who will appear in Sunday's Pro Bowl along with DT Gerald McCoy and RB Doug Martin, led the Bucs in receptions and receiving yards in 2012 and proved to be a leader off the field as well.

 Jackson now appears to be leading the charge in the Bucs' quest to improve, expressing a willingness to play ambassador for the team once the free-agent market opens up in March.

 "I would tell anyone interested in coming here that this is a top-notch organization and that we have a top-notch structure here and great coaches,'' Jackson said.

 "They've built a system of family and continuity here, not only within the team itself, but I think they've done a good job in the community as well. I couldn't be more impressed with Coach Schiano and his staff.

 "I mean, the way they came in here in one year, being from the collegiate level, and then the way they dealt with us as professionals and how the head coach got his message across and got guys to buy in.

 "He did an excellent job of that, and he's a lot of fun to play for, and he's a competitive guy, and he's going to make sure you're as well prepared as you can possibly be.''

 PAY THE MAN: The Bucs believe they found a diamond in the rough when they picked up DL Daniel Te'o-Nesheim a year ago, but now comes the hard part. The Bucs have to pay him, and it looks like they will.

 After making 40 tackles and four sacks as replacement for DE Adrian Clayborn (knee injury) this year, Te'O-Nesheim will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

 Anyone looking to grab him, though, will have to compensate the Bucs with at least a third-round draft pick because that's the round he was selected in during the 2010 draft. But the price may be much higher.

 Dominik indicated this week that he may offer Te'O-Nesheim a second-round tender - or maybe even a first-round tender - to ensure he retains a player who has proved to be a valuable member of the defensive line rotation.

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