The Falcons made their first defensive addition this free agency by bringing back an old friend, Adrian Clayborn.
Veteran DE Adrian Clayborn is heading back to the Falcons, agreeing to terms with Atlanta, per a source.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 9, 2019
Clayborn signed with the Falcons back in 2015, the first season under head coach Dan Quinn. The former first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tallied 17 sacks in three years in Atlanta, including a 9.5 sack 2017 campaign. Although, that number was inflated because of his historic six-sack performance against a back-up tackle from the Cowboys.
Even if he is no sack machine, Clayborn remains a reliable pass rusher that can push the pocket and cause pressure. He only had 2.5 sacks last year in a Super Bowl run with the Patriots, but he did record 13 QB hits as a rotational piece to New England’s defensive line. A few weeks ago Clayborn announced that he was released by the Patriots and looking for a new (or old) home.
This is an encouraging depth signing in a scheme and place where Clayborn is familiar. He, alone, is not going to fix what was Atlanta’s most apparent issue defensively from a year ago, but he can be a part of the solution. The Falcons will continue to be actively searching the draft and the remaining free-agent market for anyone who can get after the passer.