The Bills are contemplating signing tight end Charles Clay to a lucrative offer sheet, but the team may not get the opportunity to do so, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links), who reports that the Dolphins are talking to their transition player about a long-term contract. If Clay were to reach an agreement with Miami on a multiyear deal, it would take him off the free agent market.
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 suitor, such as the Bills. However, the Fins wouldn’t receive any draft-pick compensation if they don’t match that offer sheet, and Buffalo has reportedly been trying to structure its offer sheet in a way that would make it difficult for Miami to match it.
Complicating matters is the fact that the Dolphins currently have another top free agent tight end, Jordan Cameron, in Miami on a free agent visit, and there’s mutual interest between the two sides. While Cameron represents a nice fallback option if the Fins lose Clay, the former Browns tight end is drawing interest from other clubs, including Cleveland. The Browns are also said to have interest in Clay.
The Bills, meanwhile, are badly in need of some help at the tight end position after releasing Scott Chandler and letting Lee Smith walk in free agency. If Buffalo ends up empty-handed in the Clay and Cameron sweepstakes, it’s not clear where the team would turn next. For his part, GM Doug Whaley told SiriusXM NFL Radio today his Bills are still debating whether to make Clay an offer, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com.