5:33pm: Clay appears to be a top target for the Browns, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Still, the Bills are the clubhouse leader on him.
4:31pm: It’ll be tough to match what the Bills are preparing to offer, but the Dolphins are not ready to concede on Clay, Tim Graham of The Buffalo News tweets. The Browns, meanwhile, are a wild card when it comes to the tight end.
9:37am: The Bills are still preparing their offer sheet for Dolphins tight end Charles Clay, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (all Twitter links). As we heard yesterday, Buffalo intends to structure its offer in a way that makes it difficult for Miami to match it. La Canfora notes that the offer figures to be heavily frontloaded, with at least $9MM in the first year, but the Bills will wait until the Dolphins finalize their deal with Ndamukong Suh, so they have a better idea of their division rival’s cap situation.
Having designated Clay as their transition player, the Dolphins tendered him a one-year offer worth $7.071MM, which gives the team the right to match any offer sheet the tight end signs with another team. However, the Fins wouldn’t receive any draft-pick compensation if they don’t match that offer sheet, and La Canfora suggests that Miami may not be able to accommodate a big first-year cap hit, even if more cuts are on the way for the team that already released Randy Starks, today, and Philip Wheeler, and Shelley Smith yesterday.
As for the Bills, in addition to making a run at Clay, they’re trying to lock up Percy Harvin, who is visiting Buffalo, to a one-year deal, says La Canfora. A one-year, prove-it contract makes the most sense for Harvin, but he’d probably prefer a destination with a more proven quarterback to help rebuild his value. Still, as La Canfora points out, the Bills seem prepared to throw money around, so it’s possible Harvin’s best offer will come from Buffalo.