Adrian Clayborn May Not Be Long For Bucs

April 21st, 2014
Jason La Canfora doesn't expect Bucs DE Adrian Clayborn to get his fifth-year option from the Bucs by May 5.

Jason La Canfora doesn’t expect Bucs DE Adrian Clayborn to get a 5th-year option exercised by May 5.

Now Joe likes Adrian Clayborn, but ever since his knee injury not quite two years ago, he has not been the same defensive end. Prior to his injury, it looked like the Bucs might have a pretty good edge pass rusher in the making.

Because the Bucs couldn’t breathe on any opposing quarterback, one of the first items on new Bucs coach Lovie Smith’s agenda was to beef up the pass rush, little that they had.

Enter Michael Johnson, and who knows who the Bucs will draft next month? It is for the reasons aforementioned that Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports believes Clayborn may be entering his final Bucs season. Per the most recent CBA (2011), teams have options to sign their first-round picks for a fifth season, or let them become unrestricted free agents after their fourth year in the league. In fact, teams have a deadline of May 5 to notify the affected 2011 draft picks of whether they will pick up that fifth-year option.

La Canfora believes Clayborn will not receive a notice from the Bucs in the coming days.

Not bloody likely

No. 20 overall, Adrian Clayborn, DL, Tampa Bay ($7M): Clayborn is coming off an effective season but the Buccaneers have spent a lot of money already this year and will have to back up the Brinks truck to keep DL Gerald McCoy. So, I would be shocked if they picked up this option. They might be able to work out something with Clayborn, but not at $7 million a year.

The Bucs may want to keep Clayborn after this season unless he completely folds. Joe doesn’t expect that at all. But Lovie Smith was asked about Clayborn’s fifth-year extension at the NFL Owners Meetings last month, and Lovie was non-committal and said the Bucs had time to figure that out. The key here may just be Will Gholston, who finished last season as the starting left defensive end. No player on the Bucs roster made more headway last year than Gholston, who can play both inside (tackle) and outside (end) on either the left side or the right side.

If Gholston, under better coaching this season, blows up as Joe expects him to, this could be bad news for Clayborn. Gholston’s contract is far, far cheaper than Clayborn’s. Under his current pact, Gholston, signed through 2016, will not break $500,000 until next season and is in line to be paid $670,000 in 2016, per

40 Responses to “Adrian Clayborn May Not Be Long For Bucs”

  1. Orca Says:

    Trade. Need more picks for extra OL help.

  2. T in Orlando Says:

    I don’t think we’d get higher than a 4th for him, not sure I’d move him for that or less.

  3. Theodore Says:

    Seems the Dominic years were a total waste.

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Orca-I don’t agree. I think you need to see what he’s got and assess. Don’t forget he’s coming off a year where the coach had him lining up as a LB standing up and stunting like crazy. If the Bucs can get a pre-injury Clayborn, this could be a formidable D-line.

  5. SAMCRO Says:

    Clayborn needs to blow up then! Means needs to blow up! Spence needs to blow up! …or find themselves on that proverbial bubble.

    I think all of last years defensive lineman will play better this time out. ..even Bowers

    Everyone should be healed and ready to go.

  6. Bobby M. Says:


  7. BirdDoggers Says:

    There will be more competition for Clayborn this year. It looks like he’ll be a rotational player and insurance for injuries. The draft should shed more light on the DE position. Lovie would probably jump at the chance to draft another pass rusher if the situation presented itself.

  8. Orca Says:

    I have nothing against Clayborn. I still think he can be a productive player, but with the Nicks questions being raised again, I think they need more picks so they can afford to pick 2 OL, at least one of which can be an immediate starter. And we still need to pick 2 WR and a QB, and probably a LB. As I think Gholston will be the starting LDE, I can see trading a productive player at the DE position to help us on the OL.

    The offensive line situation is dire, IMHO.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Patience…..we have time….some money and the draft to fill some holes….

  10. phattitudes Says:

    Interesting that the same list includes the number 8, 10 and 12 picks in the “NOT BLOODY LIKELY” to be extended list. They happen to be 3 overvalued QBs (Locker, Gabbert, and Ponder). The need for a QB does not make a 1st Round pick a franchise Quarterback. It’s tough enough to find “THE Franchise QB” in a draft with multiple candidates thought to be franchise QBs. To attempt to find one when they are not there is a waste of a pick. At least, that is what they are saying in Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Minnesota. This years draft reportedly does not have any franchise QBs.

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    I hope Clayborn isn’t making $7 mil now because he isn’t worth half that.

  12. Macabee Says:

    This isn’t really a big deal and frankly the smart thing to do. Let Clayborn prove his worth for a new contract. Mike Bennett signed for 8mil, even if Clayborn has a good year and goes to FA, he’s not likely to get more than what would have been the 5th year option. So the Bucs assume no risk and pays no penalty.

  13. Bucsfanman Says:

    Orca- I agree with your take on the O-line. Problem is, I don’t think you get good enough value for trading him.

  14. Matt Says:

    Clayborn has always been a tweener. He’s not athletic enough to be 3-4 OLB or 4-3DE and not big enough to be a 3-᤾4DE. His Erbs Palsy will never allow him to bulk up enough and be a formidable 3-4DE. I like his effort, he seems like a great teammate from interviews but is at best a rotational player. The injury really sealed his fate. I would love to have him as an inside rusher on 3rd and long. He may need a fresh start and if he leaves I’ll always be a fan of his.

    Gholston will be the starter and will be the crown jewel of the late round finds ofvthe Dominik era. His size will allow him to play for 10-12yrs in this league. Johnson has straight line speed but Gholston has catlike lateral quickness. What a physically imposing set of DEs we’re going to have.

  15. brandonbucfan Says:

    Claiborn will be a backup to Johnson this year since he can’t play in the left side due to his arm. Gholdston and Bowers will man the left side.
    Latest Mock draft I saw had the Bucs with Evans with JF and Bridgewater still on the board. Trad down with the Giants at 12 give Minn either JF or Bridgewater and take the other or trade down to Dallas and take Carr. The report on Nicks is not good and now we REALLY need that extra pick to shore up the OL…..SHORE UP…HECK we need TWO starters at guard!!!

  16. Eric Says:

    Lasting contenders.

    No 29 year old fools gold.

    Greg Schiano……

  17. teacherman Says:


    How much is Clayborne is making this year?

    Is his contract guaranteed?

  18. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Keep him for this season and let his performance and stats decide whether to keep him or not. I personally am big on Will Gholston. I loved him at Michigan State. I can’t wait to see what Lovie and Frazier can do for this kids career! But we need depth at the position so unless Mack falls to #7 I say keep him.

  19. richardtyson Says:


  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    La Canfora needs to check his numbers. Adrian only makes $2,612,325 this year…and all of it would be dead money.

  21. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    @buccaneer Bonzai

    that is if the bucs activate the 5th year option of. which they will not. meaning he will be a free agent next year. unless they tag him.

  22. GenocideD Says:

    Joe, for the last month or so my internet browser (IE and Firefox) on both my work laptop and home PC locks up and says it’s not responding EVERY time I click on an article and then try to get back to your main page. I love your site and am a daily reader and have been for years but it makes me unable to read anything at work b/c it’s impossible to keep doing my normal work duties AND have a browser for b/c I have to force close all of my internet activities every time due to the freezing. Is there something you or I can do to fix this please???? 🙁 Deleting cookies doesn’t work.
    Thanks for your assistance.

    PS: get rid of AC. He’s always been a turd. I hate to say it but he’s never done what he was drafted high to do(get to the QB).

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    No. That is 2014.

  24. RastaMon Says:

    Are you Shit’n Me !….until I see better hustle effort….I ain’t even considering the notion…the guy was always a half step away….

  25. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai

    where are you??? have you been drinking already??? under Clayborn’s rookie contract. the Bucs have an option year at 6.9 million.. they have to activate the option by the 5th of next month if they want to use it. Clayborn sucks, so they will not use it. He will be a free agent for the 2015 year if they do not cut him before opening day. Hope that clears it up.

  26. finishers Says:


  27. Brandon Says:

    I went through the roof in 2011 when Clayborn was drafted with Cam Jordan still on the board…kind of like I did when we drafted Clayton, Williams, Talib, Joseph, Adams, and Barron… Bruce Allen and Dominik have given me so much to be angry about over the years. Hopefully Licht is actually a smart guy and not just think he’s smart like the two other buffoons did before him.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We’ll see, Realist. I know you hate being wrong.

    You may end up right about him being cut if the Bucs draft a good DE.

    As to his salary…its easy to prove me wrong. I provided proof. If you believe otherwise, provide it.

  29. Patrick Says:

    If he performs then he’ll be a Buc in 2015. Simple as that.

  30. NY Buc Says:

    …goodness will there no end to the purging of the players drafted by the dynamic duo draft gurus that were Morris & Dominick? Schiano didn’t get it done on the field as coach, but thank goodness he was around to evaluate draft talent the last two years or the Bucs would probably have cut or traded away every player drafted during Dom’s tenure as GM in order to start from scratch…not good.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I still believe Adrian can be good. And I’m guessing Lovie is too.

  32. JFat Says:

    Bonzai… The option is for next season, nothing to do with his salary this year.

    Full explanation there.

  33. Chris Says:

    Another excellent pick by pop tart. Just think he could have doubted up by taking Cameron Jordan rd 1 and Justin Houston round 2.

  34. delson Says:

    Adrians done simple as that bowers will be given more of a chanceto play n split time with gholston. I hope Lovies approach to spendin every last nickel wont bite us in the ass when we got to resign players after next season.

  35. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “PS: get rid of AC. He’s always been a turd. ”


    I think you need to look up what a “turd” is. As a result of not doing so, you look like an absolute idiot. I swear, some people really shouldn’t be allowed to even make comments, smh.

  36. Mike Duggan Says:

    Trade him to Dallas for their pick.

  37. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    If Licht could get a 4th rounder for clayborn, he could not wait to sign that deal quick enough.

  38. b.Bruce Says:

    some of you people just don’t know football.Clayborn will have a great year and don’t be surprised if powers blows up.

  39. b.Bruce Says:

    power bowers

  40. Adrian Says:

    I hope he plays extremely well this season. Hate to see him go