No one was really surprised when Dallas Clark didn't end up a Patriot this week.
The tight end's May 18 visit to Gillette didn't raise eyebrows so much as shoulders. New England kicked the tires on many a vet this offseason, so what's one more? Especially when, before Bill Belichick made the call, Clark's phone wasn't ringing. His agent is Belichick's former lawyer after all.
The decision came down to the Bucs, Patriots, and Chiefs. Clark picked Door Number One -- though not before debate.
"All three very, very good organizations," he said to ESPN Radio's Doug Gottlieb. "I had a feeling when I made the decision it was just going to be easy and it was going to be clear cut, but man it was -- when you have these three teams involved, these three organizations -- it was extremely hard and it took me a few days. But at the end of the day, it just felt right down here in Tampa."
Who's to argue? It's not like the Patriots are hurting for tight ends, as the rest of the league's defenses have been made painfully aware.
There's also the hated rival aspect.
"It was really weird..." Clark indulged before getting serious. "After a few minutes of just kind of getting over that, it was about just focusing on the opportunity and the option to play for the organization. Then you start really getting really excited and geared up.
In the end, he couldn't have been more complimentary.
"What a class act organization -- coaches and everyone involved, the players over there. It's a special place, that's for sure. It just didn't make sense to go there compared to Tampa."
The Patriots probably agree. A team with 12 receivers on the roster can't argue against creating positional depth. But stockpiling bodies isn't really a sexy sell.