Browns agree to two-year deal with veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn

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New Browns general manager Andrew Berry has added another former first-round draft pick to the roster this offseason, and this one has a Super Bowl ring.

Veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn agreed to a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Browns on Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation confirmed. The contract, the source said, can reach $6.75 million with incentives.

Clayborn has been a rotational lineman for the past five seasons, so this move isn’t expected to affect the fate of Olivier Vernon, whose future with the Browns is uncertain because he’s scheduled to make a team-high $15.5 million in salary and bonuses in 2020 coming off a season in which he missed six games with a knee injury and produced just 3.5 sacks.

If the Browns keep Vernon, they’ll have a defensive end stable featuring him, Myles Garrett, Clayborn and Chad Thomas. Their top defensive tackles are Sheldon Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi and Andrew Billings, who last week signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract to join the Browns.

Berry’s haul in free agency has netted four former first-round choices: right offensive tackle Jack Conklin (Tennessee Titans, No. 8 overall in 2016); safety Karl Joseph (Raiders, No. 14 in 2016); cornerback Kevin Johnson (Houston Texans, No. 15 in 2015); and Clayborn (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, No. 20 overall in 2011).

Last season with the Atlanta Falcons, Clayborn played in 15 games with one start and compiled 18 tackles, including four sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Clayborn, who will turn 32 on July 6, immediately became a full-time starter coming out of the University of Iowa and posted 7.5 sacks as a rookie with the Bucs. But injuries have been a theme for most of his career, most notably a torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2012 and a torn biceps in 2014. The last time he played in 16 games was in 2017, when he logged a career-high 9.5 sacks with the Falcons.

In nine NFL seasons, Clayborn has started 52 of the 110 regular-season games in which he’s appeared, tallying 196 tackles, including 36.5 sacks, to go along with 10 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He has also appeared in six playoff games with two starts.

Clayborn, listed as 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, has spent four seasons with the Bucs, four with the Falcons and one with the New England Patriots, who got a sack and three quarterback hits from him in a divisional-round playoff game on Jan. 13, 2019, en route to a victory in Super Bowl LIII.


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