Cardinals sign former Bills tight end Charles Clay

Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay carries the ball during a 2017 preseason game. The Cardinals signed Clay to a one-year contract Tuesday. [AP Photo/Nick Wass]

By Mark Carlisle
Independent Newsmedia

The Cardinals made their first major offensive addition under new coach Kliff Kingsbury Tuesday, signing former Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay to a one-year contract. The deal is reportedly worth $3.25 million with a $350,000 signing bonus.

Clay, 30, spent his first four seasons with the Miami Dolphins and his next four with the Bills. His role in Buffalo was heavily reduced last year. He caught just 21 passes for 184 yards and no touchdowns.

Before last season, Clay had been a reliable tight end for five straight seasons, catching at least 49 passes and totaling at least 550 yards in each season.

Clay will compete for time with the Ricky Seals-Jones, who turns 24 in March. Seals-Jones outperformed Clay in 2018, catching 34 passes for 343 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals. That season, the best of Seals-Jones’ two seasons, doesn’t compare to the type of year Clay had routinely produced before last season.

It remains to be seen how much tight ends will be involved in Kingsbury’s offense. While the Cardinals hired the former Texas Tech coach for his offensive prowess, tight ends did not factor into his game plan in his college coaching career. Texas Tech tight ends caught just four passes in 2018.

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