Charles Clay might have the transition tag label but that's not stopping the Buffalo Bills from getting ready to make a serious run at prying him away from the Miami Dolphins. This story, which was first reported by Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel, was later confirmed b Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports.
With the transition tag, Clay is set to earn approximately $7 million dollars this year. He will be able to visit the Bills and any other interested teams starting on Wednesday at 4 PM EST. However, Clay does not have to accept a contract and can simply work out a long-term deal with the Dolphins. If he does accept the contract offered by another team, the Dolphins will have seven days to match it. If they don't, they will lose Clay without any compensation.
Garafalo said that this will likely take some time as there are no real deadlines that are coming in the immediate future. Do not expect any type of signing to occur on Wednesday after free agency opens. Instead, if an offer is made, expect it to be within the next few days after Clay has visited with the team and their officials.
Several people have told me that the Bills have been purposely trying to drive the price up of those free agents who want to sign with other teams in the AFC East. Of course, this is good strategy to make their rivals overpay for the players they want. While the Bills would love to have Clay on the team, their main mission is giving him a few more million dollars to make the Dolphins match. It is not expected that Clay leaves Miami, barring a huge offer from the Bills that Clay simply can't refuse.
This is certainly something to keep an eye on. There have been rumblings that the Dolphins weren't expecting this so if they want to keep Clay, they may have to end up paying more than what they had originally thought. We'll keep you posted on the situation as more updates come in.
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This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs