The Miami Dolphins have a lot of decisions to make over the next few weeks, from deciding on potential free agent targets, finding ways to free cap space between releasing players and restructuring deals, and attempting to re-sign their own soon-to-be free agents. One of the players in that last category is tight end Charles Clay, who comes off his rookie contract on a down year due to injuries in 2014, but proved his value to the Miami offense in 2013, and when healthy in 2014.
If Miami does not re-sign "Big Play" Clay prior to the start of free agency in March, there appears to be a market getting ready to make a run at him. According to ESPN's Adam Caplan, Clay is one of the players who is not drawing a lot of buzz among fans and analysts right now, but could be on the radar of teams. Caplan lists Clay as one of his top three offensive NFL free-agent sleepers.
Explaining the selection, Caplan writes:
The Tulsa product drew the eye of personnel executives during 2011 Senior Bowl week practices, when some said he looked like an athletic, movable chess piece. However, a big reason why he lasted until the sixth round was because teams were not sure where to line him up (fullback or tight end). But, Clay has been productive the past two seasons, including 127 receptions and nine TDs in that span. One veteran NFL executive identified Clay as a guy who could have a really big 2015 season with a new team.
Miami has to make a decision on Clay. Do they believe he will return to form in 2015? Is he the right player for the offense? They need to make those ddecisions pretty quickly, because it sounds like the Dolphins could have competition if they allow Clay to hit the market.