Tight end Dallas Clark, who is scheduled to become a free agent this spring, sounded as though retirement was on the table after the Bucs' season finale.

That day, in Atlanta, Clark said, "We'll see what the options are and we'll go from there and make a reasonable response for myself and my family. Whatever else happens, it's been a heck of a run with this team."

Now that some time has passed, things seem to be clearing up a bit.

General manager Mark Dominik said that based on Clark's conversations with coach Greg Schiano, the 10-year veteran does appears likely to return to the NFL – either here or elsewhere.

"I know Greg talked to him at the end of the season," Dominik said. "I don't think Dallas Clark is contemplating retirement. I don't get that sense from him. But at the same time, you have to sit back and look at the whole situation, and he's making his decision."

Whether Clark returns to Tampa Bay is a different question. Clark was relatively productive, catching 47 passes for 435 yards even though, at times, he was an afterthought in the Tampa Bay offense.

Tight end is a need for the Bucs, whether they address the need by re-signing Clark or looking at other options.