Tie Won’t Go To Clayborn

July 13th, 2014

ClaybornBowersAs a former first-round draft pick entering his contract year because the Bucs didn’t exercise their fifth-year option on him, Adrian Clayborn will be an interesting call for Lovie Smith this season.

If Clayborn, say, has seven sacks as a starting left defensive end in 2014, then the Bucs will be forced to pay him a king’s ransom to retain his services.

Young productive pass rushers always command huge dollars in free agency. Clayborn turned 26 this month.

But second-year man Will Gholston, last year’s emerging starter at LDE, is on the books to earn only $585,000 in 2015. So if you were Lovie and general manager Jason Licht, who would you want to win the starting job?

Now Joe’s not saying the Bucs will play favorites, but certainly a tie or a near tie in preseason performance would and should go to Gholston.

Licht says he’s all about “value,” (presumably Lovie is on the same page) and Gholston succeeding certainly would be the value pick.

Gholston is three years younger than Clayborn and seems to have a higher ceiling and more versatility — stuff to keep in the back of your head as training camp kicks off.

36 Responses to “Tie Won’t Go To Clayborn”

  1. John23 Says:

    Get the bad apples out of Tampa pleasssee I trust lovie and licht

  2. Orca Says:

    How is Clayborn a “bad apple”? That’s phuckin’ retarded.

  3. Bucfever40 Says:

    John23-I wouldn’t say AC is a bad apple, he’s actually been a model citizen for the Bucs, but I think I know what you mean. I’d hate to see him released from the club, I really think he’s in a position for the first time in his career to blossom, to me, it’s a perfect storm of factors that should benefit his game, but if Goldson out performs him, I would truly understand the team’s reasoning (for going with the player with more upside).

  4. Orca Says:

    Gholston, not Goldson.

  5. Miguel Grande Says:

    My grandmother used to get us kids to sort through all the apples. The good ones were for eating by hand but the bruised, discolored, smashed, spotted or deformed ones were turned into canned applesauce.

    We enjoyed those all winter long.

    Clayborn’s injuries should be fine this year. You can never have too many quality DE’s.

  6. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I said the same thing weeks ago. Too much money on the line to resign a slow run stuffing DE. Would rather see Lovie draft a real pass rusher in next year’s draft. And they are more than likely not to release clayborn, they just won’t resign him next year.

  7. Bogiedr Says:

    We may see that with the new coaches who actually coach, the Bucs could have a great problem, too many d linemen playing well! I’m just saying …

  8. Hawk Says:

    A ‘tie’ should never go to a first-round pick over a fourth-rounder. The expectations (and salary) are much higher. Keep the first-rounder IF he is willing to take the same pay as the fourth and IF you really need both players, AND they are both the best you have. Clayborn’s needs (show that he’s still first-round talent) should be an advantage for the Bucs.

  9. Orca Says:

    Clayborn is a productive, if unspectacular player. He’s an all-hustle, team-first guy… There would be no reason to release him. If he has a decent year this year, but isn’t overpriced in free agency next year, I’d be happy to have him back.

  10. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Some might just learn the stunting and dropping in coverage was to cover up some DE weaknesses. Just like everyone was screaming about revis playing zone. Then the truth came out. What was schiano saying at the end of the year, he said that the defense was a couple of players away from being very good. He was talking about clayborn! He also said that they would love to rush just four, but they cannot.(because no pressure from DE’s)

    Lovie saw the same thing and once free-agency start, he replaced clayborn as fast as he could.

  11. Jim Walker Says:

    We passed on Cameron Jordan for this guy.

  12. Mort Says:

    Clayborn reminds me of a Greg Spires… at least that’s what I see his ceiling being. Not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly you expect better from a first rounder in a “Very deep DE draft” I’d say.

  13. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Clayborn they can’t hate all they like; big dog. Time to eat. Sick’em

    GO BUCS!!!

  14. SAMCRO Says:

    Joe, are you saying that if Gholston beats out Clayborn in camp and is the new starter they should terminate Clayborn this season? If that is what you are suggesting, then I’m totally against it. Clayborn is affordable and we need depth, but if you are saying next off season, I’m all for it depending on how well Clayborn really does this year. If he has a double digit type season we’ll need to revisit this discussion next year.

    No. Joe never suggested releasing Clayborn this season. That wouldn’t make the Bucs better.–Joe

  15. Fishman92 Says:

    We can all speculate until we turn blue in the face but his play will ultimately speak for itself for better or worse. I’m optimistic because even though he hasn’t been the pass rusher we’ve needed him to be the past couple of seasons he has shown promise. I’ve seen this guy absolutely eat up QB’s i.e Romo, Ryan, Brees and when you put a lick like that on a player he’s going to be thinking of that pass rush and not keeping his eyes downfield. I think he can pass rush but relies too heavily on his bull rush which is explained through lack of technique. I think he is in a great situation to learn from proven defensive coaches which can teach as well. We have a rotation to keep our linemen fresh and wear out those O-linemen which will play to his strengths as a power rusher. I also expect him to learn a lot more hand technique and rush moves.

  16. Fishman92 Says:

    Also a nasty knee injury obviously impeded his progression as a player.

  17. Keith Says:

    Why do we all forget Clayborn was AWFUL in 2011 before he got hurt? I dare ANYONE to check the film and report back.

  18. Keith Says:

    Meant 2012. Sorry

  19. BFFL Says:

    Clayborn has now been relegated to a role player. No big contracts coming from the Bucs.

  20. Captain Stagger Says:

    So we don’t resign a productive young DE in favor of a cheaper, younger, less experienced guy…..yeah that worked out great last time….#BennettvsBowers

    7.5 sacks his rookie year
    Blown out knee
    6 sacks while trying to cover Sproles on a bad knee.

    Gholston makes for a fine #3….

  21. Danati74 Says:

    I would say, they are giving AC a sure shot. I saw WG do some things, but not the flashes seen from AC. GMC needed a few years. Whats wrong with giving AC a few years too. Bowers is a different story.

  22. Rex Says:

    Keith, Clayborn played a total of 2 1/2 games before getting injured in 2012 so I would like to know how 2 1/2 games means he was terrible before the injury. Does anyone actually look back at this stuff before they make a stupid comment?

  23. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    I like Clayborn. You guys are talking as if he was like good old Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. 16 games 0 sacks…lol

  24. Goodolebucfan Says:

    So funny you say a DE is slow so the coach has him cover super fast Sporles and taking longer pathes to the QB the makes no sense. Some people just don’t know football!

  25. Brooks Says:

    Joe brings up the play where clayborn chased sproles out of the backfield. Horrible. Does joe remember the lions game. Clayborn was 15 yards down the field on pettigrew. A decent tight end. My point is I think if he is asked to do what his position is he will have a great year and get paid. McCoy isn’t the only one that had no help.

  26. buc4lyfe Says:

    Bad apple? You must be a Johnny football fan! He is gone though I think mccoy is the only d lineman getting a kings ransom and since lovie believes his staff are great teachers unless he has 10 plus sacks I don’t see it even though I’d like to see him stay

  27. Louis Friend Says:

    Some of you guys make me quite happy that fans don’t have any decision making power. Only a complete idiot would judge Clayborn’s play in 2013 – 12 months from coming off an ACL which takes longer than that to recover fully from – as all he could offer. Even Lovie is keeping an open mind about it. No offense to Gholston lovers, but the kid didn’t show enough to make a sane person think he’s a full time starter. 2 sacks and you’re proclaiming him the next starting LDE?! 1.5 of those sacks were against one of the worst OL’s in football (Bills)!

    Jeez, that makes all kinds of sense. Get over the Clayborn bashing, and stop drinking the stupid people Kool-Aid.

  28. Joe Says:

    Only a complete idiot would judge Clayborn’s play in 2013 – 12 months from coming off an ACL which takes longer than that to recover fully from – as all he could offer. Even Lovie is keeping an open mind about it.

    Such an open mind that Lovie did not pick up Clayborn’s fifth-year option, thus making this season Clayborn’s contract year.

    Now tell Joe who has the open mind here?

  29. Joe Says:

    Joe brings up the play where clayborn chased sproles out of the backfield. Horrible. Does joe remember the lions game. Clayborn was 15 yards down the field on pettigrew. A decent tight end. My point is I think if he is asked to do what his position is he will have a great year and get paid. McCoy isn’t the only one that had no help.

    When Joe brings up how Clayborn was covering Sproles, that is not a knock on Clayborn in any way, shape or form. It is an illustration as to how whacked out the defensive mindset was from the coaches.

    Pretty sure even Clayborn would admit he may not be the best guy to cover running backs downfield in pass coverage.

  30. Louis Friend Says:

    Only an idiot would pick up the option on a guy who didn’t show full recovery from an ACL. That said, he should be much improved this year, and he did an excellent job as a rookie as well. If Lovie doesn’t like him, we’ll know in about 6 weeks. I’m pretty sure he will though.

    As for Gholston, I know you don’t like links, but Sander over at bucsnation did a write up on what he actually did do last year. It’s a mix of praise from Greg Gabriel combined with the his true production. Which was minimal.


  31. Joe Says:

    We passed on Cameron Jordan for this guy.

    You could pick apart every team’s draft by playing Monday Morning Quarterback three years later.

  32. Tiny Tim Says:

    I don’t know if 7 sacks equals a kings ransom. Now if you add that to his rookie year production, and last year coming off an ACL injury production; then I can definitely see a descent payday. One poster mentioned Greg Spires, the great Seminole player. I agree with that. Someone who is solid, but not a pro-bowler ala Brad Culpepper. The bucs have salary space and clayborne has the type of motor the Tampa two requires. Lovie is probably trying to see how he fits and for what price.

  33. Tiny Tim Says:

    I don’t know if 7 sacks equates to a king’s ransom. Now if you add that to his rookie year production, and last year’s production; then I can see Clayborne receiving a descent payday. One poster mentioned Greg Spires. I agree with that. Having some one who is solid (maybe not a pro-bowler) ala brad culpepper would be good for the bucs. Clayborne has the type of motor that the Tampa 2 requires. Maybe Lovie is trying to see exactly how Clayborne fits and for what price.

  34. OB Says:


    As you know, a rotation will be in place so they can rest, everyone that makes the final cut on the line will get their chance to shine or bomb or….

  35. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Louis- Sure are a lot of people ready to show him the door, right?
    We have a lot of unanswered questions leading into the season. The worst case scenario for AC is him as a rotational guy. The best case scenario is the Bucs having rotational guys!

  36. Bucsfanman Says:

    I should’ve prefaced my statement. Having a 6-7 sack guy as a rotational…

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