Adrian Clayborn to Sign with Falcons: Latest Contract Details and Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2015

TAMPA, FL -  DECEMBER 8:  Defensive end Adrian Clayborn #94 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes the pocket against the Buffalo Bills   December 8, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

After four injury-riddled seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive end Adrian Clayborn hit free agency this offseason and has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons.

The team announced the news on Thursday and added that cornerback Phillip Adams has also agreed to a deal.   

When Clayborn was healthy, he was productive for the Bucs. After being selected 20th overall in the 2011 NFL draft, he registered 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in his rookie season. But a knee injury in 2012 limited him to just three games. He returned in 2013 and was solid if unspectacular, notching 64 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Many folks in Tampa thought Clayborn was primed for a big year in 2014, but the defensive end played just one game before being placed on season-ending injured reserve with a torn biceps. Now, Clayborn is out to prove he is more than an injury-plagued player.

He should hit the 2015 season with a clean bill of health, as he was cleared to resume all football activities in December.

Clayborn was always likely to sign a "prove it" type of contract, as he has yet to show he can stay healthy or be a top defensive end when he's on the field. Still, there's no questioning his potential, and he's already proven he has the ability to make an impact after his promising rookie campaign. 

The team also added linebackers Brooks Reed and Justin Durant as well in free agency.

Just 26 years old, Clayborn could end up being one of the steals of free agency for the Falcons so long as he stays on the field.


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