It would not have been a particularly safe bet to project that Adrian Clayborn would be Atlanta’s leading sack artist in 2017, but now it looks like a very real possibility. Through nine games, Clayborn has eight sacks, with Brooks Reed and Vic Beasley tying for second on the team with four.
Of course, 75% of that production came from the Cowboys game, one of the greatest pass rushing efforts you’ll ever see. That game alone basically earned Clayborn a nice $750,000 bonus for hitting eight sacks, and now he’ll have his eyes set on an even bigger prize.
Per NFL.com, Clayborn will pick up another $500,000 bonus if he can make it to 12 sacks on the year. His production to this point in Atlanta argues against him getting it—he didn’t exactly have double digit sacks a year ago—but Clayborn gets a crack at a weak Seattle offensive line, Minnesota’s Mike Remmers, and Matt Kalil again over the last seven games of the season. There’s a very real chance he hits that mark and finishes 2017 as Atlanta’s only double digit sackmaster, which would be awesome for him and fitting for a genuinely weird year.
It’s not my money and I would very much like to see this team win, so I’m rooting hard for Clayborn to wind up with well over 12 sacks. If only he could face Chaz Green a couple more times.