With the Miami Dolphins expected to keep their transition tag on Charles Clay, the Buffalo Bills are likely to stay the course in their plans to present an offer to the tight end that their AFC East rivals would find difficult to match, according to a source close to the situation.
And that offer could be made by the close of business today, the source said.
The News learned that Clay, whom the Bills flew from South Florida to Buffalo on Tuesday, returned to South Florida Thursday after failing to receive a contract offer from the Bills.
The News also learned that the Dolphins, despite signing free-agent tight end Jordan Cameron Thursday, are still very much interested in retaining Clay and apparently urged him to return from Buffalo.
The Bills have been studying the salary-cap implications of the moves the Dolphins have made so far during the league's free-agent signing and trading period that began Tuesday, the source said.
Media reports say the contract the Dolphins worked out with their biggest free-agent addition, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, has an enormous salary-cap jump from 2015 ($5.25 million) to 2016 ($27.75 million). That, alone, is enough to prompt the Bills to put together a deal for Clay that would also include a larger cap number in the second year, when the Dolphins presumably would have less cap room to accommodate it.
Meanwhile, various NFL sources say that after visiting with the Bills, free-agent wide receiver Percy Harvin is exploring other opportunities, and one apparently could be joining the New England Patriots. There is no indication that the Bills have fallen out of the hunt, although it doesn't seem as promising as it did earlier.