Kaelin Clay has been in the NFL long enough to understand that sometimes the business of the league works in strange ways.
For instance, last summer the wide receiver/returner was in training camp with the Carolina Panthers, his fourth team since 2015. On Sept. 2, just before the start of the 2017 regular season, the Panthers traded Clay to the Buffalo Bills.
Then, on Oct. 23, the Bills released him. One day later, the Panthers re-signed him. However, after the season, the Panthers released him. And on Thursday, Clay again found himself back with the Bills, who have a crying need for receiver help.
Why do teams keep coming back to him?
"Honestly, I just think it's my rapport that I have with the coaches," Clay said by phone. "When something doesn't go the way I want it to go, I (still) always leave a good impression. And I think my work ethic, I don't complain, I'm not a bad teammate. Things just don't work out how they're supposed to. It's the business.
"But, for me, I think (the Bills) believe in me as well. After having conversations (with the coaches), I think that they really do believe in me and they believe in my talents. They're giving me that opportunity to go showcase it. I'm grateful and I'm forever grateful for the opportunity that I have to come back for a second time and try to make this thing right."
Clay, 26, appeared in only four games with the Bills last season. He caught only one pass for 28 yards, rushed once for no gain, and fielded two punts -- fair-catching one and fumbling the other after two return yards.
After re-joining the Panthers, Clay appeared in nine games, including two starts. He caught five passes for 57 yards. In addition, he returned 17 punts for 147 yards and a touchdown, against the New York Jets, and lost two fumbles. Clay also returned three kickoffs for 52 yards.
Counting the seven games in which he appeared with the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, he has six career receptions for 85 yards, 42 punt returns for 393 yards and two touchdowns (one with the Ravens), and 17 kickoff returns for 395 yards.
Clay hasn't spent a whole lot of time wondering where it all went wrong in his first stint with the Bills.
"It's the business of it, that's not for me to get into," he said. "My main focus is to take care of what I can take care of on the field and let the rest handle itself out. Some things don't work out the way you want them to, but you've got to stay focused, you've got to be resilient. You've got to show them that you can get through anything because you won't be the first person to get cut and you won't be the last to get cut.
"I'm not even really worried about it now because I got a second chance here, so I'm going to make the best of my opportunities here. I'm going to capitalize every day on opportunities that I'm given and, hopefully, help this team win games and even more than that."