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Veteran former Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn signs 2-year deal with Browns

Veteran defensive end heads to the state of Ohio.

Atlanta Falcons v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

While the apex of free agency has leveled down a bit, this is still a critical time of the offseason as teams look to round out depth with key veterans signings.

On Tuesday, the Atlanta Falcons saw another piece of the defense from last season depart as nine-year veteran Adrian Clayborn signed a two-year deal to join the Cleveland Browns and its young defensive core. Clayborn is fresh off a four-sack season in 2019 with the Falcons to go along with 18 total tackles and seven quarterback hits.

It was Clayborn’s second stint with the Falcons as he was a piece to the defensive puzzle from 2015 to 2017.

The deal with Cleveland is reportedly for $6 million. While the Browns operate mainly out of a 3-4 scheme, Clayborn fits as a strong-side defensive end and provides solid play for the Browns in run defense. Clayborn was still on the Falcons’ radar to re-sign to their rotation and keep his presence in the locker room. Especially with the team looking for development from second-year player John Cominsky, Clayborn was a nice pillar to help guide the raw but talented defensive end.

The Falcons will still lean on starter Takkarist McKinley, new edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr., Cominsky and depth bodies in Austin Larkin and Steven Means to get after opposing quarterbacks. It is still possible that the Falcons will target a veteran defensive end in free agency as we get closer to the draft. There is also legit probability that the team will target one early in the 2020 NFL Draft to improve the poor pass rushing performance we had to suffer through for the team most of last season.