The Michael Clayton Era Has Ended

September 4th, 2010

It’s not a real shock that the Bucs cut Michael Clayton this afternoon, though it did surprise Joe.

Given the fact Bucs general manager Mark Dominik dished out a bunch of cash for Clayton last year, Joe was convinced the Bucs would hang on to the target of so much hatred from Bucs fans.

But after Dominik handed Kardashian-chasing running back Derrick Ward his walking papers, a player who also benefited from Dominik’s lavish spending last year, Joe saw the handwriting on the wall for Clayton.

Woody Cummings, of the Tampa Tribune, made the news official a few moments ago.

The former Tampa Bay first-round draft pick of the team was released Saturday as the Bucs trimmed their roster to the league-mandated 53-player limit.

“I’m no longer a Buc,’’ Clayton said in a text message to the Tribune.

Though Clayton expressed confidence he would remain with the team through the finl cutdown, the move came as little surprise. Clayton was coming off his worst season in the NFL and saw little or no playing time in the Bucs last two preseason games.

Joe is a bit sad to see Clayton go mainly because he’s a stand-up guy. The NFL is too littered with scumbags. Clayton is not among them.

Simply put, it comes down to what you do on the field. Clayton, after his stellar rookie season, didn’t do much. Receivers are paid to, you know, catch the ball. Clayton couldn’t. As Joe has written before, it doesn’t matter if a team has Anthony Munoz at wide receiver, a receiver is paid to catch first, block second. If you can’t do the first, it really shouldn’t matter how well a player can pull off the second.

In a way, it’s refreshing that Dominik is looking at results, not salaries, as to a player’s worth. With the exit of Clayton, there is no question who now is under the fans’ microscope as the most loathed player on the Bucs roster.

That would be one strong safety Sabby.

Time to step up, Sabby. Words right now are pretty pointless and empty. Blaming your coach for being set up won’t fly either.

57 Responses to “The Michael Clayton Era Has Ended”

  1. Blackmagic00 Says:

    There it is.

  2. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    The money is in the BANK baby!

    Hopefully were the words that cam out of his mouth to the team.

    Yet another FAILED move by the current regime.

    This one was bad from day one.

  3. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’m not one to bash Clayton, he really is a good guy. I will say I have been disappointed by him since his rookie season. Hopes and expectations were so high for him after that year, but he couldn’t even come close again. Even if he had a respectable season after that one rookie year, I would have been on his side. Sorry to see you go, Michael, if only because you had the potential to be a good WR as well as a good guy.

    I’m sure he’ll catch on somewhere else, and may have better production there. I actually hope he does well.

  4. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    “In making the move the Bucs swallowed $3 million in guaranteed money owed to Clayton”

    So the Bucs prefer to pay millions to people who aren’t part of the team anymore?

    Smart and savvy I tell you!

  5. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    Goodbye Michael, thank you for your stellar rookie season, and the few great blocks you made downfield afterward to spring our runningbacks.

  6. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Don has been a bit refreshing. Allen sucked. This franchise looks like its headed in a better direction. I’m about to get blasted by the hates but I really could care less. This team is getting better.

  7. Blackmagic00 Says:

    I meant dom not don.

  8. Capt.Tim Says:

    While Clayton leaving was the right move for both him and the team, I’m not gonna celebrate his departure. Sabby might be next!

  9. Patrick Says:

    Clayton had played awful since his rookie season and it was time to make the move. But I agree with Joe, there’s still a little bit of sadness in something like this. Hopefully Clayton can have a productive career still.

  10. BucsFan593 Says:

    I hope he gets another shot who knows mabey under a different offense he can thrive again. dont blame clayton altogether since 2004 he has had 10 QB’s throw to him over 6 seasons. i know its no excuse but do you think he would have been this unpreductive under New England or Indi? Im just saying??? I agree with letting him go if you can let Brooks go you have to be able to let Clayton go but still.

  11. eric Says:

    After two seasons as GM we can conclude one thing for sure, Mark Dominik aint worth a Damn at free agent signings.

  12. sensiblefan Says:

    Hey Willie Parker is available

  13. Spirit of '76 Says:

    I agree with Eric as to FA & the Bucs. Let’s stick to the draft as we seem to be a lot better at choosing there. It may take a while to build up the core and talent level but it seems to be a lot safer and less expensive.

  14. goodfellajay Says:

    Javier n Wimauma..come on you would had said ..if we didnt cut him..that they were cheap

  15. Dew Says:

    Clayton is a great guy. Sorry it worked out this way.

  16. AriToldMeTo Says:

    The Buccaneers are extremely promising. This young group and coach is the talk of the league. I suggest you go buy season tickets before the winning picks up again this year.

  17. Joe Says:


    Clayton is a great guy. Sorry it worked out this way.

    Well said in few words.

  18. Brad Says:

    Slow coming., Joe you need better connections.

  19. Amar Says:

    Kind of disappointing he was cut even though he sucked.

  20. Scott Says:

    J n’ W: I really think people take that ‘money is in the bank’ comment the wrong way. I think he meant it as the money was already spent by the Glazers, not ‘ha ha I got mine’. At least it could be interpreted that way so why not give him the benefit of the doubt?

    He has always sounded like a decent guy, it’s just a shame he couldn’t deliver on the field. He had to leave but I’m not happy to see him go, just sad he could not have done better.

  21. joseph Says:

    Times had this an hour earlier, Joe.

  22. AriToldMeTo Says:

    Well, I myself can tell you that the Buccaneer organization loved the guy. It was just decided that he should have the opportunity to explore other lucrative options. Kind of like a buyout. He gets to keep his money, and go sign a new contract elsewhere. It’s really, in fact the best move for him and his agent, while the organization gets the opportunity to please the fan base by paying him off.

    In the end everyone is happy.

    So fan base, since the Glazers went out on another limb and paid off Ward, Clayton as well as Gruden of last year, give back to the team by buying season tickets. They are on sale 😉

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    There is something sad about Clayton leaving. Just another failure to lay on Gruden’s doorstep. If Sabby also( deservedly) gets cut, then meybe we will have finally purged the stink of the previous regime from one Buc Place! This is just another sign of how badly they drafted and developed Talent. We are finally headed in the right direction, but still have a few “cobwebs in the attic” from those years. Hopefully some of the players that made the team today will be our All-Pros of tomorrow, and will help restock/ rebuild our talent base back to what it was 7 years ago. Either way, at least claytons departure brings us that much closer to being able to close the book on that chapter of Buc History. Amen

  24. Joe Says:


    Slow coming., Joe you need better connections.

    To be honest, Joe was watching football, and he retweeted Stroud’s post long before Joe posted this.

    Joe has been waiting nine too long months to be able to sit on his leather couch, fire up his TVs and watch football. Joe was covering football and working until 1 a.m. last night.

    With apologies, Joe decided to be a bit selfish today. 🙂

    The first Saturday of college football season is truly an unofficial holiday for Joe. 🙂

  25. AriToldMeTo Says:

    Well said Tim. As soon as the Gruden draft picks move on, the entire Buccaneer community will realize peace.

    Gruden was the cancer that destroyed Tony Dungy’s team. Gruden was the worst thing to come Tampa’s way. Tampa is too classy of a town for an awful man like Jon. I wish Jon would just move out of Tampa, as he doesn’t deserve to be a part of this community. the NERVE of him coming in and stealing Tony’s super bowl. What sad time those years were. Every win made the community wince as that ensured Gruden more and more job security when he should have been never hired.

    Eventually the Glazers came to their senses and fired Gruden. Now we have a very promising and young coach that will lead us into the future Super Bowls that the Tampa community deserves, not those uninteresting 9-7 seasons.

    This is a great day to be a Buccaneer, and you should go out and buy tickets for the sake of the players morale.

  26. Dew Says:

    I hope they keep Parker over Brown.

  27. Capt.Tim Says:

    Again, Ari, your words have the steel of truth, and your wisdom is as clear as clear as spring water for all the pirate brethren to see. You are speak with clarity and are a genius!

  28. Radio Mushmouth ( Mr. Credibility ) Says:

    Correct me I’m wrong , Joe , but didn’t Clayton blame all his woes on the former coach , Jon Gruden …..that makes him a stand-up guy , yet sabby is a dirt-bag??

    Once again your bias shows. Seriously, did Sabby rape your mother or something for you to hate him this badly ??

  29. sensiblefan Says:

    …you can cut the sarcasm in here with a knife…

  30. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    CaptTimmy or JimBuc can’t.

    They have already drank the Rah Will Be Great Cult happy juice. The juice blinds their awareness of sarcasm… They only care that the message is being said.

  31. Horice Says:

    Well GOOOOODDD BYYYEEE Mr Clayton. I dont agree with the comments that he has made from the “money is in the bank” to the recent “I will take it out on the Bucs” comments. If you guys can’t see the thread of arrogance in those comments, then wow! Mike and Derrick are professional thieves and should have felony Grand Theft charges placed on them for what they did. If this was any coperate business in Tampa Bay, they would have been fired looooonnnnnggggg ago for failure to produce. I am not as hard on our GM as some are. I like the fact that when they see that they have made a bad decision they make a move, that is smart business. Most all of us can look back on some life’s decsions and hine sight says that we should have pulled the trigger much, much earlier. I love the Teams direction, and it makes me hopeful for the near future. Go Bucs!

  32. Joe Says:

    Radio Mushmouth:

    Correct me I’m wrong , Joe , but didn’t Clayton blame all his woes on the former coach , Jon Gruden …..that makes him a stand-up guy , yet sabby is a dirt-bag??

    Once again your bias shows. Seriously, did Sabby rape your mother or something for you to hate him this badly ??

    Joe has never written Sabby is a dirtbag. Joe has zero knowledge of such a wild, irresponsible accusation and has never heard anyone speak ill of him as a person.

    The only people Sabby has “raped” are the good people who lay hundreds of dollars out to watch the Bucs play.

    If you want to keep defending the guy who led the NFL in missed tackles, and can’t make it through a game without a boneheaded play or a missed tackle or a blown coverage, knock yourself out.

    As for Clayton’s ripping of Chucky when Chucky was shoved out the door, Joe took him to task for that because it was such a ridiculous claim. Joe trusts you are equally perturbed at Sabby claiming Rah set him up to fail. Or did that somehow get lost as you celebrated Sabby making a tackle against beer truck drivers after a three-yard gain?

  33. NoKoolaid Says:

    I really do not see the ‘stand up’ part about this guy at all. Every word that I have ever heard him speak or read about has made him seem like a complete a-hole. I am glad he is gone. And don’t forget that he is even more of a mistake for the current regime than for the last one, because they re-signed him to a huge deal after he did nothing to earn it.

  34. Radio Mushmouth ( Mr. Credibility ) Says:

    Joe ….im not defending Sabby as a player ( although unlike most I think he earned a spot on this roster) , just defending what I deem to be unfair piling-on that is directed at him on this website.

    You claimed Clayton was a “stand-up guy” , then went on to site Sabby’s calling-out of Rah , which seemed to imply he was NOT a stand-up guy. If not then I apologize for the misinterpreation.

  35. Joe Says:

    Radio Mushmouth:

    Joe has dealt with Michael Clayton a few times and he has always been overly kind and polite to Joe. Once, he cut his vacation short to help raise funds at the Chris Thomas golf tournament, a guy he never met, to help raise money for people who are dying of cancer but cannot afford a hospice.

    At training camp once Joe saw with his own eyes Clayton hop over the fence and sit with fans in the stands and sign autographs.

    Is Clayton perfect? No. He should not have tried to blame his problems on Chucky and Joe called him out for that, just like Sabby should never have called out Rah, claiming Rah set him up to fail.

    Did that make Sabby a bad person? No.

    Joe’s only problem with Sabby is his play on the field.

  36. Radio Mushmouth ( Mr. Credibility ) Says:

    Well rumors are having it that Sabby has made the team.

    We will soon find out … I’m going to LMAO at all of you if he makes it , because I can just picture the steam coming out of your ears 🙂

  37. Eric S Says:

    Glad Clayton is gone. It is a great day. The guy couldn’t catch the ball. That is the main description of a WR. I am sure he’s a swell guy and he will catch on with another team. Or he might miss his flight. You see what I did there. Ha. This was doubly sweet. Clayton got cut and Duemig was wrong. How sweet it is.

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    JavierdaRahDom, why do you have to be so angry- can’t you be more like your fellow hater” Radio credibility mushy”?? He’s also totally wrong about everything, but still manages to entertain us with his hillarious wit!! Why do you have to try and be such a buzz kill? It’s attending all those Klan meetings, right?? Having to wear that sheet over your head makes ya irritable, right? Well.ya gotta be careful! Having to change your ANONOMOUS post name a third time would actually be a world record for unpopularity!!!

  39. floridagirl Says:

    Good guys don’t win football games, receivers do and unfortunately he hasn’t been catching the ball for the past 4 years. Think it’s continued indication that the Bucs are indeed realizing their mistakes and cutting their losses.

    Good luck Mike, bring on Generation Next!

  40. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    It’s about damn time!

  41. Eric S Says:

    This is definitely not a victory for Dominik. It is an embarrassment that he gave him that huge contract. Seems like all his big FA signings from 2009 didn’t turn out all that well. So he’s done a C job so far. He’s done well in the draft but poorly in FA signings and coach hirings including if he was involved in hiring Morris as a head coach.

  42. Radio Mushmouth ( Mr. Credibility ) Says:

    I’m not wrong about EVERYTHING. I am Mr. Credibility !! How dare you !!

  43. Capt.Tim Says:

    And that’s why we all love you, Mushy!

  44. Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Clayton will go to some other team who needs a receiver and be fine. Let’s hope it is not in the NFC South ? It just was not meant to be for him here in Tampa. I wish Mark well.

  45. TJ Says:

    Thank you Jesus

  46. Eric S Says:

    I am going to hope that he goes to a NFC South team. Then he can drop some key third down passes for one of them. So please Atlanta, Carolina or NO sign him.

  47. Patrick Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    You always bring up how people like Eric and Thomas go on and on about Jon Gruden, but yet it seems like you’re always the first one on here to bash him and say negative things about him. Quit blaming mean old Chucky for Clayton’s poor performance. It’s Clayton’s fault and no one elses! After Clayton’s rookie season, everybody around thought we had a new elite wide receiver who would be around for many years. But instead he goes from 1,100 yards receiving to not even being average up until his release and just disappears from the spotlight. While I think Clayton is a pretty good overall guy, he acted like a complete baby when he was blaming his troubles on Gruden. Real men don’t do stuff like that.

    “Either way, at least claytons departure brings us that much closer to being able to close the book on that chapter of Buc History. Amen”

    “That chapter” in Bucs history? That miserable, dreadful era of Bucs history?? While we did have a few disappointing seasons during the Chucky era, 2002 -2008 were some of the best years in Buccaneers history, and it brought us our only championship. 1 SB, 3 division titles, and a winning record. Looking at the “overall” history of the Buccaneers, especially when you go back to days of 0-26 and 14 straight losing seasons where they were the butt of jokes on Johnny Carson, that’s pretty good. It just sounds funny when you refer to it as “that chapter.” You think the Gruden era is so bad, try the 80’s and early 90’s.

    It’s ok not to agree with everything that Gruden did, but my god you act like he’s the worst coach in NFL history.

  48. foxworth Says:


  49. aceofaerospace Says:

    The headline should read, “The Michael Clayton Error Has Ended”.

  50. D-Rome Says:

    I agree with Eric S. in regards to Duemig. Duemig used to rail on Jon Gruden for treatment of certain Bucs players including Michael Clayton. After Gruden was shown the door Clayton criticized him by saying Gruden was inconsistent and that he would tell you one thing and do another. He also complained that Gruden did not have confidence in him. Well, many of those game time decisions were made during the week. Clayton has been given many, many chances with this team. It wasn’t so much that Gruden was inconsistent. It was Clayton who was inconsistent. I’m sure he’s a good guy and all but from a performance perspective I say good riddance. He should have been kicked to the curb four years ago. He should be grateful.

  51. Capt.Tim Says:

    Patrick, have to disagree with you. I don’t believe Gruden I’d the worst coach in history, although I understand why you feel that he was. I actually wish we had gotten Gruden a year or two sooner. Our team should have won a couple SuperBowls, but Dungy’s ultra conservative play calling in the playoffs killed us. Gruden could have won a couple more SuperBowls. But you are right about him when it comes to Coaching/Drafting young players. He absolutely is the worst, probably ever. He’s like a locust swarm! And that’s not even mentioning that Lil player revolt at the end of his last year. So, yeah , you’re right about that part, Pat. We definately should of gotten rid of Gruden sooner, before he did all the damage to the team he got away with! But, hopefully it’s not really important anymore. As you said, at least now we are back on track, and Gruden is something we can hopefully soon forget!

  52. Capt.Tim Says:

    Foxworth- aka Michael Clayton. I think most of thought you were a good guy, and always hoped you would become an All Pro. The problem was that, well, you can’t Catch! For all your effort, you can’t catch the football. That’s like being a Carpenter that can’t read a tape measure, or a Chef who can’t Cook- it’s pretty much a career ender! But we all hope we’ re wrong, and you do well with a new start’

  53. foxworth Says:

    hey capt thats funny but im not mike im not even a player fan im a team fan since 79 , it just bothers me when we attact people on personal levels and dont know them ,and please understand im not going to make excusses for any player that wont perform but i will say this as far as gruden he is the only coach that ever came to tampa and won a superbowl …wait and he did it with 17 first year players on the team there for it was not dungys team it was gruden and monties team given credit where its do .. as far as personel probs after that it was mc cay that left that salary cap mess that allen had to clean up if not for that maybe the whole gruden sapp lynch would have played out diff and we would have won more titles truth …dungy shoulda been let go sooner too . oh and hows this for a twist gruden now coaches little laegue in tampa m m m m thats weired

  54. McBuc Says:

    JM, TD, and JG are the three greatest Bucs coaches ever. JM started the team from scratch, and almost made it to the SB. Dungy brought the Tampa Two and winning to the team, and Gruden won the SB.

  55. Patrick Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    That’s not what I said at all. I was defending Gruden in my post, not saying he was the worst coach in history. In my post, I mentioned how it sounded like you thought he was the worst coach ever by your comments on Clayton and then once we get rid of Sabby we can close the book on “that chapter” in Bucs history, which was one of the better times in the franchises history.

  56. Capt.Tim Says:

    Patrick- I think enough people have bashed Jon Gruden- deservedly so! But I think we can let him rest in peace. Let’s look to the future, which is definately looking up. I don’t think you and I need to keep rehashing the dark past. Let’s move past the blame game . Hating Gruden now isn’t productive- just let it go.

  57. Patrick Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    For the third time, in plain English, I was defending Gruden. Not bashing him. Not bashing him! Please read my posts. You’ve seen from all my posts over the months that I defend Gruden and say good things about him always.

    Not sure if you’re on something or if you’re doing it on purpose, but stop saying I’m bashing Gruden when I’m clearly stating in my post above that I was DEFENDING him.