Adrian Clayborn Reportedly Re-Signs with Falcons: Contract Details and Reaction

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2016

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) stretches before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

A year after signing defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn to a prove-it deal, the Atlanta Falcons reportedly rewarded the 27-year-old with a two-year commitment on Wednesday. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Clayborn's new deal includes a $9 million base salary. However, the five-year veteran can earn up to $14 million.    

After he was limited to a single appearance in 2014 because of a torn biceps, Clayborn rebounded in 2015 as he appeared in all 16 games for the Falcons. During that stretch, the University of Iowa product totaled three sacks, 15 total tackles and a fumble recovery. 

And while those numbers are hardly staggering, Clayborn was consistently viewed as a disruptive force along a Falcons line that finished dead last with 19 sacks a season ago. 

Adrian Clayborn's Career Stats
SeasonGamesSacksTotal TacklesForced Fumbles
2011167.5423
20123----20
2013165.5642
20141-----10
2015163.0150
Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com

Not surprisingly, head coach Dan Quinn has made it clear over the past few weeks that he wanted to retain Clayborn while targeting several other defensive linemen in free agency. 

"Now, for me, our continual push in terms of our pass rush, it's not going to be just one guy," Quinn said at the NFL Scouting Combine, per ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure. "It comes from a group when we're rushing at our best together. So, I kind of think Clayborn, although he has flexibility to go inside ... if he's back with us, I'll feature him probably more outside to in than inside to out."

That group now reportedly includes former Miami Dolphins pass-rusher Derrick Shelby, who agreed to a four-year, $18 million deal that could be worth as much as $21 million, according to ESPN's Field Yates

It would be a stretch to think those two moves will catapult Atlanta into a more respected tier of pass rushing, but so far, Quinn has stayed true to his word when it comes to making strides along the line.