The New England Patriots are already very good in defense but it didn’t help them against the eventual Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles. Now, they are bolstering their defense with the addition of Adrian Clayborn.
NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted on March 16, “The #Patriots are signing #Falcons free agent DE Adrian Clayborn to a 2-year deal worth $12M, source said.”
Clayborn is considered the best pass rusher in the entire league, and the Patriots got his services for a measly $12 million for two years. He’s developed a reputation for his uncanny ability to get to the quarterback.
While playing for the Atlanta Falcons last year, he recorded career-best 9.5 sacks and six of those were against the Dallas Cowboys during a dominant 27-7 win in Week 10. With Clayborn leading the charge, the Falcons ranked 13th in total sacks and 16th in adjusted sack rate.
However, the move is good for everybody. Clayborn just couldn’t break out of the bench role as Brooks Reed stood in his way. Last year, the 29-year-old only started in 14 of 45 appearances. There’s also sophomore Takkarist McKinley who showed promise as a rooke last year with 20 combined tackles.
The Patriots allowed the Eagles to score on eight of 10 possessions during the Super Bowl and are determined to bolster their defense. In addition to Clayborn, they also added Danny Shelton and Jason McCourty.
Clayborn will finally get his wish to start, this time alongside Trey Flowers.
Last year, Clayborn already started thinking about retirement after tearing his biceps in the game against the Seahawks. In a piece for Players Tribune, he said that he didn’t want to go through another rehab process once again.
It’s a good thing that upon reflection, he decided to get it one more try with the Atlanta Falcons. He just didn’t envision that he would be playing for a different team in 2018.