SATURDAY, 8:22pm: The Dolphins are ready to bow out of the Clay duel with the Bills after “losing patience” with their transition-tagged tight end, the Buffalo News’ Tim Graham reports on Twitter.
FRIDAY, 3:58pm: The Bills won’t give Clay an offer sheet today, but it’s still expected to happen at some point, a source tells Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).
FRIDAY, 12:46pm: Having agreed to trade Dannell Ellerbe to the Saints, the Dolphins will clear some additional cap room and are still trying to sign Clay to a long-term extension, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
FRIDAY, 8:09am: After snatching tight end Jordan Cameron away from the Browns yesterday and signing him to a two-year deal, the Dolphins decided not to rescind their transition tender to Charles Clay. On the surface, the move suggests that Miami would still like to keep Clay, and would be fine rolling with both tight ends in 2015 and beyond. However, the decision may also signal an ongoing game of chicken between the Dolphins and their division rivals in Buffalo.
The Bills’ interest in Clay has been well documented over the last week, and having released Scott Chandler and watched Lee Smith sign with the Raiders, Buffalo badly needs a tight end. That’s why the Bills were reportedly preparing to sign Clay to an aggressive offer sheet that would be difficult for Miami to match.
Although the Bills may still structure their offer to make things hard on Miami, they now have to consider whether doing so would only make things harder on themselves. After all, there’s little chance that the Dolphins would match an expensive long-term offer for Clay now that they’ve locked up Cameron. So the Bills may just end up sticking themselves with a frontloaded contract for the tight end, and that may be why Miami hasn’t rescinded that transition tag — doing so would allow Clay to sign with Buffalo immediately, without the Fins having the right to match.
In any case, the Bills are still preparing to make an offer to Clay today or Saturday, and they believe they’ll get him, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Having already added LeSean McCoy, the Bills are also hoping they can add Percy Harvin on a one-year deal to complement Sammy Watkins. Whether it’s Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, or Tyrod Taylor heading the team’s offense next season, it’s clear Buffalo is doing everything it can to ensure that its starting quarterback has plenty of weapons at his disposal.