Tight end Charles Clay is the latest recently-released veteran to be added to the Arizona Cardinals’ roster this offseason
The Arizona Cardinals have struck again. The club’s front office has gotten a head start on the 2019 roster-rebuilding that everyone knew was coming. An experienced tight end is the latest addition to the Cardinals’ nest.
The team announced on Tuesday that they’ve reached agreement on a one-year deal with veteran Charles Clay. The contract is reportedly worth $3.25 million and includes a $350,000 signing bonus. Clay had just been released this past Friday by the Buffalo Bills, in what was essentially a cost-cutting move.
The 30-year old was scheduled to count $9 million against the Bills’ salary-cap this season, a high number for a player who severely underachieved in 2018. Clay caught 21 passes for 184 yards, an average of just 8.8 yards per catch. Arizona is obviously hoping for a better performance than that out of the former Miami Dolphins’ draft pick.
For years now, the Cards have gotten very little production out of the tight ends that they’ve employed. Current starter Jermaine Gresham, like Clay, is also coming off of a down year. The 30-year old tallied a measly nine receptions for 94 yards and zero touchdowns in 13 contests (11 starts).
Backup Ricky Seals-Jones actually performed much better than Gresham. The second-year pro hauled in 34 balls for 343 yards and a score in 15 appearances (five starts).
Clay’s arrival could mean the end of Gresham’s tenure in the desert. The fifth-year Cardinal is due to count $8.2 million against this season’s salary-cap, and is scheduled to be paid a base salary of $6.25 million. That’s a large amount of cash for someone who’s statistics were so unimpressive in ’18.
Arizona has gone on a spending spree of sorts this offseason. Clay is the fourth player that general manager Steve Keim has signed this month. Cornerback Robert Alford, linebacker Brooks Reed and linebacker Tanner Vallejo were the others.
Clay was a sixth-round selection of the Dolphins in 2011. The 6’3, 255 pounder’s best campaign was in 2013, when he racked up 69 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns. Clay has totalled 339 catches, 3,631 yards and 23 scores during his eight years in the NFL.