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Buffalo Bills still in the hunt for Miami Dolphins' Charles Clay

For a hot minute on Thursday night, it looked like the Buffalo Bills were out of the running for Charles Clay. Now, this morning, they might be the front-runners to land him.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After two days of word that the Buffalo Bills were highly interested in Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay in free agency, and after Clay visited One Bills Drive, the situation came to a head on Thursday afternoon and evening, in rather dramatic fashion. Let's review; if you're interested in the TLDR version, the Bills are still very much in the hunt for Clay, while Miami may be less inclined to match any offer for him.

The afternoon started off with word that the Dolphins were working to re-sign Clay to an extension, which was reportedly a priority for the team after wrapping up the signing of Ndamukong Suh.

The notion that the Dolphins would be bringing Clay back was buttressed when reports surfaced that Jordan Cameron, the free agent tight end from Cleveland that visited Miami on Thursday, had re-signed with the Browns.

But not long after, as Bills fans were lamenting that their team was going to lose out on their top free agent target, word surfaced that the initial reports on Cameron returning to Cleveland were false - and that, instead, he'd be signing that two-year, $15 million deal with the Dolphins.

It was at this point that we pointed out the rules when teams remove the transition tag from a player. If Miami does so with Clay - more on that in a minute - the player immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any team, with Miami having no final ability to match offers.

As that news was breaking, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News chimed in with an update on Clay, who had returned to Miami following his free agent visit and was still being pursued by the Browns, who had just lost Cameron to Miami. He added that Miami was still working to keep Clay, despite the Cameron signing.

As to whether or not the Dolphins will actually remove the transition tag from Clay: multiple reports say that they will not. This likely will not affect the offers that Clay receives from other teams too drastically, but Miami would retain the right to match any offer that Clay and his agent gives to them.

As for the Browns and their reported interest in Clay? As of Friday morning, the general sentiment is that they are running behind the Bills in the race.