Initially, Clay only sought $6.8MM per year from the Dolphins when the sides were negotiating, but Clay’s would-be salary for this season rose to $7MM when the Dolphins placed the transition tag on their developing tight end. Clay’s initial asking price represented the logic behind Miami opting to place the lesser-used transition tag on Clay as opposed to the franchise tag ($8.2MM for tight ends this year), per Salguero. This would’ve forced the Bills to part with two first-round draft picks if they matched the offer and ultimately kept Clay in Miami.
The Bills will now pay Clay, who signed a five-year contract worth $38MM, more than any tight end over the next two seasons ($11.5MM per season in ’15 and ’16) due to the frontloaded deal.
- The Browns are the frontrunners to be the subject of this season’s Hard Knocks, reports Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports on Twitter. This would mark the first such time the Browns, who finished 7-9 last season, would appear on the HBO training camp show.
- Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said prior to Jason Worilds‘ retirement he was not in the Steelers’ plans, as the team thought the improving linebacker would receive an offer they weren’t prepared to match, reports Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via Twitter.
- Signing DeAngelo Williams required the Steelers’ brass to take a “little leap of faith” after what happened regarding LeGarrette Blount‘s abrupt midseason exit, Colbert said (via ESPN’s Scott Brown on Twitter). Coming off a career-worst season and entering his age-32 campaign, Williams received a key endorsement from quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, who recruited and coached the running back when he was on staff at Memphis in the early 2000s (Twitter link).
- Colbert told Brown the Steelers will pursue cornerbacks in the draft and that three of Pittsburgh’s four starting linebacker positions, excluding the inside backer spot manned by Lawrence Timmons, are open competitions.
- Texans owner Bob McNair wanted to sign Vince Wilfork when he became a free agent in 2010, reports Tom Curran of CSN New England. Instead, Wilfork re-signed with the Patriots on a five-year, $40MM contract — then a league-high pact for defensive tackles. McNair received a slightly lesser version of the run-stuffing tackle this year, with the now-33-year-old signing for $9MM across two years.
- Elite edge-rushing prospect Randy Gregory will visit the Ravens, whom he already met with at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson.
- Former Titans and Ravens linebacker Brandon Copeland participated in Sunday’s inaugural Veteran Combine and caught the eye of several teams, per Wilson on Twitter. Copeland, who will be 24 in July, told Wilson he spoke with the Chiefs, Titans, Colts, Bengals, Giants and Eagles after a workout that he said included a 4.52-second 40-yard dash. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound linebacker went undrafted out of Pennsylvania and appeared on the Ravens and Titans rosters in 2013 but did not accrue any statistics.