Clayton Wasn’t Re-signed For His Receiving

March 9th, 2009

Yahoo! Sports has an element on its Bucs page called “Inside Slant.” In this piece, it tries to determine what a number of Bucs fans don’t get: Why wide receiver Michael Clayton was re-signed.

In short, Raheem the Dream likes Clayton’s attitude.

Although Clayton, the team’s first pick in 2004, has only two touchdown catches in the past four years, the Bucs made re-signing him a priority in the off-season.

After visits to the Lions and Vikings, Clayton cancelled a trip to Seattle and returned to Tampa Bay, where he signed a five-year, $26-million contract that includes $10.5 million in guarantees.

The reason? Clayton has always been willing to do the dirty work and represents what new coach Raheem Morris is trying to build in his first season – a young, tough-minded team that loves to play and practice.

The Bucs also believe Clayton will be rejuvenated now that he’s out from under the heavy hand of former coach Jon Gruden.

The way Joe looks at this is that it’s a decent gamble for a team counting nickels. Clayton was not an expensive signing. If he continues to drop passes and as a result, teams pretty much leave him alone and double- (or triple-) team Antonio Bryant, then it’s not that big of a loss financially, if the Bucs toss Clayton to the curb.

Look, Joe LOVES wide receivers who throw their body around and punish would-be tacklers. That’s why Meshawn Johnson was so good and why Hines Ward is one of the most lethal wide receivers in the game and a favorite of Joe’s.

The difference between Meshawn and Ward and Clayton is that Meshawn and Ward haul in damned near everything they get their hands on. Clayton can’t say that.

And the first and foremost important talent a receiver can have is catching the damn ball.

One Response to “Clayton Wasn’t Re-signed For His Receiving”

  1. JK Says:

    Joe,your last two paragraphs say it all. He can’t catch. Not Grudens fault no matter what anyone says. I, personally think he is afraid of the big hit. If he can light someone up blindside he will do it. He seems scared when he looks back at the quarterback and takes his eyes off downfield.