Clay, who was with the Bills for a portion of last season before landing with the Panthers, returns to Buffalo to provide the team's wideout corps with added depth behind Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones and Andre Holmes. Moreover, Clay can also contribute on special teams after returning 17 punts for 147 yards and a TD in nine games for Carolina in 2017.
Clay didn't receive a qualifying offer or minimum tender from the Panthers and will become an unrestricted free agent, per the league's official transaction log.
After a rough start to the 2017 season in which Clay was traded from the Panthers to the Bills before getting waived and returning to Carolina midseason, the 2015 sixth-rounder ultimately finished the year with just six receptions on 20 targets for 85 yards and no touchdowns. However, the Utah product did show his upside on special teams by housing a 60-yard punt in Week 12 against the Jets. It isn't clear what kind of appeal he'll have on the open market, but it would be a surprise if he isn't able to land a deal in advance of team training camps in late July.
Clay also totaled 147 yards and a touchdown on 17 punt returns. The wideout joined Carolina after being released by Buffalo in October. In four games for the Bills, he managed just one reception for 28 yards, but along with providing a spark in the return game, he carved out a depth receiving role with the Panthers. His presence was felt most in the team's final few games, with his three catches for 32 yards in Sunday's wild-card loss to the Saints marking a career-best performance. Although he did fail to haul in a difficult, yet catchable would-be touchdown in that outing, Clay should still be encouraged by the progress he made this season. It'll be interesting to see whether he's retained by the Panthers as an exclusive-rights free agent this offseason.
Clay caught two of four targets for 24 yards in Sunday's 22-19 win over the Buccaneers.
Clay's receiving performance was his best since joining the Panthers, which isn't saying much. Although it's good to see him getting more involved, his fantasy value remains rather restricted ahead of Week 17's trip to Atlanta.
Clay (shoulder) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Vikings.
Clay was unable to practice Wednesday before logging limited sessions Thursday and Friday due to his minor shoulder injury, but the Panthers' punt returner will be able to take the field Sunday. His fantasy value remains limited, however, as he's notched just three receptions all season.
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|2015||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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