Bucs Will Not Exercise Clayborn Option

April 24th, 2014
Bucs DE Adrian Clayborn will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Bucs DE Adrian Clayborn will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, if not re-signed by the Bucs.

The speculation is now fact. The Bucs will not exercise the fifth-year option of Bucs defensive end Adrian Clayborn, as reported by Greg Auman and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times yesterday afternoon.

Clayborn’s first three season were largely marred by an ugly knee injury and lack of sacks, which is not a great combination. Had the Bucs picked up his option, it would have meant a windfall for Clayborn of $6.96 million in 2015.

Now, after this season, Clayborn becomes an unrestricted free agent and the move by the Bucs essentially is a “show me” move by the Bucs to the Show Me State native.

“For new staff coming in, we like what Adrian did last year,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “We have him in a position, he’s one of the guys we’re counting on this year and he needs to play well this year no matter what we do and he realizes that. Whatever we decide is good for him and I don’t think he’s really worried about an awful lot. He knows he’s going to be with us and that’s all that any of us is promised is this year to play ball. If I was a betting man I would say he’s going to have a heck of a year.”

Joe thinks Lovie is on to something. Returning in 2013 from a lost 2012 season due to a knee injury, Clayborn started out last year with a pair of sacks in the first three games and then disappeared most of the rest of the season.

However, Clayborn did get 2.5 of his five sacks in the final six games, which may suggest he was starting to get over the hump of his knee injury, which often takes a full year to fully bounce back.

Clayborn yesterday took the news in stride.

“It doesn’t matter either way to me,” Clayborn said. “Even if they did give it to me, it’s not guaranteed. I just have to come out and have a good year.

“Either way, it works out for itself.”

In case Joe’s readers haven’t heard, there is a new sheriff in town who has an established resume of being able to groom defensive linemen into quarterback terrors. That was not the case for defensive linemen under former Bucs commander Greg Schiano, when defensive linemen were often seen dancing out of position amid Bill Sheridan’s stunts.

Joe is pretty confident Bucs fans won’t be seeing Clayborn guarding a scatback like Darren Sproles in pass coverage this season. Can you imagine there were actually (allegedly) sober minds in meeting rooms at One Buc Palace last year that told Clayborn that in a certain Bucs alignment, if Sproles rolled out of the backfield on a pass play, that he was Clayborn’s responsibility?

That may have been the worst mismatch Joe has ever seen on a football field.


31 Responses to “Bucs Will Not Exercise Clayborn Option”

  1. Bruce Says:

    I don’t think the team not picking up on his 5th year option means anything. Like Clayborn said, it’s not guaranteed anyway. This gives Clayborn a season to prove his worth without the Sheridan restrictions and increase his stock for next years FA dinner bell. Hmm, this is eerily reminiscent of Bennetts situation.

  2. lightningbuc Says:

    Dead Man Walking!

  3. Chef Paul Says:

    He’s got this!! This season shall make him some moolah

  4. Chef Paul Says:

    Show em what you got Clayborn. Take that erb’s palsy arm, and show them how strong it is by beating Sylvester Stallone in arm wrestling in “Over The Top.” The powers of him spinning his hat backwards will be futile against you.

    Bull rush dem sumbitches!!

  5. Nate_tweetz Says:

    I hope Clayborn does have a good year for both him and the Bucs. Unfortunately, I do not think it will be the case. He will be an average DE at best. He has a great motor, but his motor is a V6 hyrid, not a supercharged V8. Even before his injury, he was always a half-second slow getting to the QB. He had limited explosiveness before the injury, paired with short arms. This was the assessment of him coming out of the draft (hated the pick). His work ethic is there… His natural ability and talent are not. Like I said, I hope he does well and proves me wrong, but I just don’t see it.

  6. Lev Says:

    Solid player. Solid gets you 4-12.

  7. Snook Says:

    All he needs to be is Greg Spires in this system.

    Which is still a task.

  8. BucsQcCity Says:

    I like him and I think he’ll improve but Gholston is healthier cheaper and flashed promise last year. Plus it could open the door to get Mack or Clowney in first round

  9. BucTrooper Says:

    I think it’s safe to say that Mark Dominik was pretty much the worst GM in the history of the Bucs. The one player he found worthy of an extension got traded because he partied too much.

    Look at ALL of Dominik’s draft picks. He literally found ONE player. ONE. Since 2009. And that was a top 5 pick, which should be pretty much a slam dunk anyway.

    One player. In 5 years of drafting. That’s Matt Millen Territory right there.

  10. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Agreed with lightningbuc. Even if Clayborn has a killer year and terrorizes QBs all season long, there is already too much talent and money tied up in the D line to invest in him. Unless he puts up double digit sacks and/or Johnson isnt playing up to his level, all i gotta say is enjoy him while ya got him, Bucs!

  11. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Dom got better at his job. None of the players in his last two drafts are at any point to extend them. Sheesh.

  12. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Dom got better at drafting, coincidentally, right when Schiano came on the scene.

    Whether by draft picks, extensions, free agent signings, or win/loss record, no matter how you look at it, he was sub par.

  13. flmike Says:

    Basically, this season becomes a one year prove it deal for him. When healthy he is a good rotation guy, I don’t think that he’ll ever become an elite DE, but, you never know, with good coaching and a team attitude that fosters good players and doesn’t “stunt” their growth, we’ll see.

  14. William Says:

    AC will be Great this year.

    Connor Shaw is coming to Tampa.

    Bad taste on the video. Just like when people talk about addictions on this site. Bad taste on choice. But its just my opinion…

  15. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    How is Clayborn going to ” prove himself ” when he is a backup on the opposite side in rotation duty??? That is if he makes the 53 man roster.

  16. bucrightoff Says:

    Look at ALL of Dominik’s draft picks. He literally found ONE player. ONE. Since 2009. And that was a top 5 pick, which should be pretty much a slam dunk anyway.

    One player. In 5 years of drafting. That’s Matt Millen Territory right there.

    Lavonte David, strongly, strongly, strongly disagrees.

  17. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @OilDerrickBrooks Agreed that he was subpar when looking at comprehensive job functions the five years he was head honcho. He and the Bucs are now much better off with him BSPNing. That being said, I am def not ready to credit Schiano with anything but an added stink to a franchise that has had its fair share of stink. And not going to judge Dom on his draft picks when the best of em are 1-2 years into their careers.

    Just be happy it is a new day for Bucs ball. We fans needed it.

  18. ander Says:

    all you dominick critizers, he might have not been the best gm however he did bring the best linebacker in the league right now in lavonte david.

  19. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    soooo in 5 years we have a DT and LB that can make a couple of pro-bowls while the team never ever makes the playoffs.

    fyi Matt Millen draft Calvin Johnson, what is his place in history.

    There is a reaseon when Lovie negotiated for the Bucs Job he wanted control of the 53 man roster and Dominick gone!

  20. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    “fyi Matt Millen draft Calvin Johnson, what is his place in history”

    You beat me to it.

  21. tackleblockwin Says:

    I hope nothing but the best for AC. The guy gives great effort on the field. On another note, why is everyone crediting Dom for improved drafting? I suppose Shiano had something to do with drafting too. Unfortunately Schiano’s coaching skills were pretty poor, but the man must be given a little credit for some of the draft picks.

  22. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    No problem at all-Handle your Business AC-Its Time to let the Big Dog Eat!!

    I pulling for you Bro

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    *I’m pulling for you Bro

  24. Jon Says:

    Or Dom just got better at drafting. Clayborn averages almost as many sacks per year as Michael Johnson. Heathy he’s good for 7-10 a year. Oh well Adrian. Ball out

  25. Jon Says:

    The buc realist will say the same of our GM now in five years. Probably bashed Allen too. It’s his release from his crummy life. Let’s wait and see who makes the team. Who starts and how Lovie drafts. I’m still worried of subtraction by addition.

  26. Bucsfanman Says:

    You guys just won’t let go of the Dom criticisms. What does Dom have to do with Clayborn’s horrific knee injury and not utilizing him to his strengths? Clayborn was looking pretty good prior to ripping his knee apart. The guy hasn’t had the best luck nor the best coaching and now that he does you’re ready to show him the door too. It’s not like the Bower’s situation here fellas. If this guy can bounce back, we could have a very formidable D-line.
    I, for one, am rooting for him. Go Adrian! Go Bucs!

  27. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    Just looking at the facts, and there are not good for Clayborn. Lovie replaced him the instant Free agency started. The Bucs are going to try him out on the other side of the line. More than likely Goldston or a draft pick will start and clayborn will be a backup in rotation. And then he will be a free agent and the Bucs will not offer him another contract.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Realist- Yeah man, I get you. Keep in mind though LE lines up on the RT which theoretically is the weaker part on the O-line. Clayborn could be a terror. If he busts out and manages double-digit sack #’s, there’s no way they turn their back on him. If not, like you said, he’s depth for the time being, albeit good depth. Gholston is still unproven though has shown glimpses so I’m not ready to annoint him just yet.
    The truth very well might be that the Bucs will not be able to afford him next year. If he shows out, that will be a pity.

  29. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    I think clayborn will have to actually do something on the field before we start talking of the Bucs “Not able to afford him”. He needs to have a good year which in his career he has not had yet.

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m with you man, put up or shut up.

  31. richardtyson Says:

    Mark Dominic’s Very Own Mock Draft Picks 1-10

    1 Houston – Jadeveon Clowney
    2 St. Louis – Sammy Watkins
    3 Jacksonville – Khalil Mack
    4 Cleveland – Khairi Fortt
    5 Oakland – Dezmen Southward
    6 Atlanta – Ed Stinson
    7 Tampa Bay – Trade with NE for Revis
    8 Minnesota – Ronald Powell
    9 Buffalo – Shamar Stephen
    10 Detroit – Chris Boswell

    He’s not bad with the first 3 picks.