Patriots Rumors: Adrian Clayborn Plans Free-Agency Visit with New England

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Adrian Clayborn #99 of the Atlanta Falcons reacts after sacking Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 7, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Entering his eighth season in the league, veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn may finally play in a division other than the NFC South.

ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Thursday that Clayborn is on his way to Massachusetts to meet with the New England Patriots.

The 2011 first-round pick spent the first four years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before spending the past three years with the Atlanta Falcons.

The 29-year-old is coming off a career year highlighted by a game for the ages. In Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys, Clayborn recorded a franchise-record six sacks along with a pair of forced fumbles. That unbelievable performance earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Overall in 2017, he had 21 combined tackles, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. His record-setting game against Dallas made up the majority of those numbers, but that game alone shows what a force the 6'3", 280-pound lineman can be.

New England finished tied for seventh with 42 sacks and brought down Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota eight times in the divisional round. However, the Patriots' inability to get to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles certainly played a role in their Super Bowl LII loss.

Adding Clayborn would give Bill Belichick an experienced edge-rusher to work into the mix. 

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