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The reason the Dolphins didn't use the franchise tag on Charles Clay

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Charles Clay's agent did a great job getting him a big contract from the Buffalo Bills. But it was obviously a much better job than even he expected to do, apparently.

Clay and his representative are getting $23 million from the Bills the first two years of the tight end's new five-year contract with his new team.

That is $10 million more, per a Dolphins source, than the last contract Clay presented the Dolphins before they tagged him with the transition tag. And, interestingly, the Dolphins' negotiations with Clay prior to them tagging him never rose above $6.8 million per season.

That explains why the Dolphins did not use the franchise tag on Charles Clay.

The team using the $7 million transition tag was actually above where contract talks had reached with the tight end at the time. Putting the $8.2 million franchise tag on Clay would have effectively been $1.4 million more than what Clay was asking at the time on a one-year basis.

Obviously, neither the Clay camp nor the Dolphins expected the Bills to come into the picture with such urgency to sign Clay. And urgency is exactly what the Bills showed with their contract to Clay.

They gave Clay $38 million over five years, or $7.6 million per year and, yes, made Clay the highest paid tight end in the NFL next two seasons, averaging $11.5 million per season.


The Dolphins may meet with wide receiver Greg Jennings while their contingent is at the owners' meeting here in Phoenix.

Jennings was scheduled to be in the area for other reasons and so a tentative meeting later this week was set.

The Dolphins may address the wide receiver position with a free agent addition but not necessarily before the draft.

The team is 45-55 percent going to address the position before the draft, meaning more likely afterward, according to a team source.

The Dolphins have shown interest in both Michael Crabtree and Jennings.


The one-year contract quarterback Matt Moore signed with Miami to be Ryan Tannehill's backup is worth $2.6 million plus incentives.

The incentives obviously would drive up Moore's salary if he actually plays, which he has did sparingly the past two years after getting $8 million for two years.