Bills Sign TE Charles Clay to $38 Million Offer Sheet
Your turn, Miami. The Buffalo Bills have officially forced the hand of the Miami Dolphins after agreeing with tight end Charles Clay on a five-year, $38 million offer sheet. The deal is structured to hit Miami’s cap hard in 2016 should they sign it, while the Fins would receive zero compensation if they pass and let Clay go to the Bills.
It’s a classic catch-22, but perhaps one the Dolphins needn’t concern themselves with. The team already protected itself at the tight end position by bringing in former Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron on a two-year deal. Getting nothing in return for Clay will hurt a bit, but spending all that extra money on a second tight end also may not make a lot of sense.
This could work out beautifully for the Buffalo Bills, who badly need Clay in town after regular starter Scott Chandler left for New England. Clay would be a marked upgrade over Chandler, too, as he’s a better athlete and a more versatile weapon, in general. Thanks to a compact build and a refined skill-set, Clay is a fine possession target in the passing game, but also can assist in run and pass-blocking. Rex Ryan teams require a solid, reliable tight end over the middle of the field that is also capable of helping with blocking. Clay would fit that label perfectly.
Miami may not want to lose Clay. Despite landing the athletic Cameron, they still have to be concerned about Cameron’s shaky concussion history and the fact that he really only had one productive season in his entire career. It was an elite one back in 2013, but they can’t be certain how Cameron will fit into their system, while his blocking would be a drop-off from what Clay brings to the table in that department.
There has been word that Miami is interested in using both tight ends to help make up for the loss of Mike Wallace (traded to the Vikings), while a more intermediate attack would in general better highlight quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s strengths. On the surface it looks as though the Bills won this battle and Clay will be headed for Buffalo, but the Fins still have the next five days to match the offer sheet.
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