The New England Patriots will have a revamped pass-rushing unit next season. Days after former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia lured DE Trey Flowers to Detroit, New England released DE Adrian Clayborn after only one season with the team.
Clayborn was supposed to be a big free agent signing last year, but finished with a disappointing 2018. The former Falcon only recorded 11 tackles and 2.5 sacks as a Patriot. His release will increase the Patriots cap space by $4 million.
#Patriots have released pass-rusher Adrian Clayborn. Was there for one season.... won a Super Bowl. Now back on the open market.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 15, 2019
Despite having such an unproductive season, don't feel bad for Clayborn. He capped off his tenure in New England with a Super Bowl championship, so things could be a lot worse. It's not often you get to go to a new franchise, do absolutely nothing for them, and still walk away with a ring.
Thank you @Patriots for my time with the organization. I gained so much respect for how you do things and win championships. It’s done the right way through hard work. Thank you for granting my release. I’m ready for this next chapter.— Adrian Clayborn (@AJaClay) March 15, 2019
Clayborn thanked the Patriots organization on twitter this morning after the news broke.
In terms of what's next for the Patriots defensive line, the team signed former Eagles pass-rusher Michael Bennett in free agency this week. The veteran still has a lot left in the tank, but I would expect another DE signing to give New England more depth at the position.