After a few deals and franchise tags on pass rushers, the dust settled and Adrian Clayborn was the best available defensive end in free agency. We mentioned that he could be making $9 million per year, if not more. With no news of visits or signings nearly two days into legal tampering, it is possible his market was softer than expected.
At the very least, we know that the Atlanta Falcons are still in the mix for the veteran. Per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.
DE Adrian Clayborn generating interest as one of the best pass rushers available. Patriots, Colts, Bucs, Browns -- and Falcons -- appear to be all in the mix, according to source. Clayborn led the Falcons with 9.5 sacks last season. https://t.co/Q6TfIu3Rwz— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 14, 2018
That is a pretty healthy market, but it’s unclear what these teams are offering Clayborn. It is obviously not quite right for him yet, as he has not agreed to a deal. With the Falcons still in on Clayborn, there’s a possibility he could return to Atlanta. The Falcons have only looked to keeping their own players at this point, and there has been no more reports linking them to Austin Seferian-Jenkins. They likely put a higher priority on keeping Clayborn, if possible.
It is a little surprising to see Clayborn still unsigned at this point. However, he has had a long injury history, and his sacks are pretty streaky. At the same time, he’s still young, qualified, and very versatile. He shouldn’t have to wait too much longer before signing a deal.