Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay always had plenty of upside due to his athleticism, but he was unable to tap into it in his first two seasons. With Anthony Fasano gone and replacement Dustin Keller having suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason, the path was cleared for Clay, who took full advantage of Keller’s injury. He broke out with 69 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns, playing in all 16 games for the first time in his career.
The 24-year-old Tulsa product really put himself on the map with a near-70-catch season in 2013, and he’s heading into the final year of his four-year rookie deal. Clay is set to make $645,000 in base salary, which makes him an extremely underpaid player. Of course, most non first-round rookies who are coming off of productive seasons are severely underpaid, but Clay is a prime candidate for a nice extension since he’s a key part of the offense and has just one year left on his deal.
ESPN NFL Nation’s James Walker compiled a list of three underpaid Dolphins players who are deserving of an extension, and the name that stands out the most is definitely Charles Clay. He is the No. 3 target in the passing attack behind wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, and it’s clear that the Dolphins would like to keep things that way. Having a versatile pass-catching TE like Clay can open up an offense big-time, and we all saw Clay’s impact on Ryan Tannehill this past season. The question is whether or not both sides can come to terms to an agreement, as Clay would likely need a pretty lucrative contract in order to stay instead of testing the open market. Then again, long-term security is important in itself.