If you were holding out hope that the Cleveland Browns would still make a run at TE Charles Clay, you can forget about it now: within a week, he's either going to be a member of the Buffalo Bills, or he'll be staying with the Miami Dolphins.
According to Michael Silver of the NFL Network, the Dolphins' final offer to Clay was 4 years for $27 million, with less than $15 million guaranteed. The per-year commitment means that he would've been the second highest paid tight end on the roster after TE Jordan Cameron ($7.5 million per year for Cameron, $6.75 million per year for Clay).
Miami's offer was not good enough, which has driven Clay to sign Buffalo's much more lucrative offer:
The #Bills' offer to Clay is for 5 yrs and $38 million. More than $20 million guaranteed.— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) March 17, 2015
More on the #Bills' offer sheet to TE Charles Clay: $24.5 million over the first 2 years.— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) March 17, 2015
Besides the contract being worth an average of $7.6 million per year, the $24.5 million over the first two years has to be extremely enticing to Clay. Buffalo won't cut Clay that soon in to his contract, so even if he turns out to be a disappointment, he'll be set financially. Paying that money to Clay so soon in his contract is the price Buffalo has to pay in order to prevent Miami from being able to match the offer.
I was intrigued by the thought of the Browns getting Clay at first, but in per-year money, it makes Clay the fourth-highest paid tight end in the league. That would be a lot to pay for a guy who isn't home-grown and while good, isn't in the same class as a Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski.
What do you think, Browns fans -- would you have made the same offer that Buffalo did to try to get Clay in Cleveland?