The Buffalo Bills are clearly in the clearing-the-decks-for-Charles-Clay mode.
They took a big step toward allowing themselves to prepare an offer sheet for the transition-tagged tight end that the Miami Dolphins won't be able to match by extending the contract of defensive tackle Kyle Williams, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
According to an NFL source, although the one-year extension is worth a reported $10.5 million, the move would lower Williams' cap hit for this year. Right now, it stands at $6.4 million.
The Bills need to load as much money as they can in the first year of the offer to Clay to discourage a match by the Dolphins. The Bills are known to be seeking other financial moves with players under contract to better enhance their chances of making an offer that would allow them to land Clay.
There also is competition for Clay from the Cleveland Browns, who are believed to be ready to make a massive offer for the tight end. The News has learned that the Bills are looking to submit the offer sheet on Thursday, at the earliest.
The Dolphins then would have five days to match, and if they don't, he would join the Bills and would receive no compensation. Why are the Bills so interested in Clay? Because he is one of the NFL's better short-area tight ends when it comes to getting open and helping as a blocker in the running game.
Greg Roman, the Bills' new offensive coordinator, places a great deal of value in that quality, much as he did when he had Delanie Walker as a tight end when Roman as San Francisco's OC. A free agent such as Jordan Cameron, who has been with the Cleveland Browns, is more of a downfield threat, and that is not the type of tight end Roman is seeking.
Most everything the Bills are seeking to build on offense is focused on having the strongest running game possible -- thus the reason behind their highest-profile addition, LeSean McCoy.