After losing a number of key players in free agency, the New England Patriots have struck back. The team has signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons. The contract is for two-years and worth $12 million.
Patriots reached agreement with former Falcons’ DE Adrian Clayborn, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2018
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2018
New England Patriots Sign Adrian Clayborn
Clayborn has been a key player for the Falcons during his three years with the team. He is one of the top free agents at his position this off-season, and rightfully so. Clayborn is most known for his six-sack performance versus the Dallas Cowboys earlier this year. During his time with the Falcons he was a rotation player. He played left defensive end and started two games this season. He appeared in all the Falcons games, however. This year he showed how dominant he can be off the edge and how he can provide pressure on the quarterback often.
Clayborn was drafted in the first round (20th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Bucs and had an up and down career there. During his time, he only played two full seasons with them, his rookie season and in 2013. The other two seasons he was injured and didn’t play more than three games. During his time in Tampa, he managed 13 sacks and 74 tackles.
Clayborn then hit the free agent market and ended up signing with the Bucs’ division rivals in the Falcons. While in Atlanta he recorded 17 sacks and 50 tackles. Clayborn initially signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the team. Then they re-signed him to a team-friendly two-year, $8.5 million deal in 2015. He had a career year in sacks this season, finishing the year with 9.5 sacks. He was a good complimentary off the edge with his fellow teammate Brooks Reed.
Clayborn was a big-time playmaker in college with Iowa. He was a four-year starter for the Hawkeyes and finished his career with 19 sacks, 37.5 tackles for a loss, and 192 total tackles.