A rare training camp trade that made a huge impact

Towards the end of training camp, we hear a lot of trade rumors.  These rumors usually get too much attention because:

1. There aren’t many NFL trades.

2. NFL teams only trade someone at that time of the year if they have absolutely no use for him.  There’s usually a very good reason why a player is available.  He won’t help you.

All of that makes the Rams’ acquisition of former Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton by G.M. Billy Devaney on September 6 more remarkable. Clayton was acquired for a move down in the 2011 draft from the sixth round to the seventh round.  Essentially nothing.

For that price, Clayton has provided: 22 receptions, 300 yards, and two scores in four games.  Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that Clayton ranks fourth in the NFL in receptions over 25 yards, with five.  He’s producing like the guy Baltimore thought he was when they invested a first-round pick in him back in 2005.

“He made some great catches yesterday, didn’t he?” coach Steve Spagnulo said Monday.  “Wow. He’s a . . . call him a gamer or
call him a clutch performer, whatever you want.”

This is a move that Devaney wouldn’t have made if not for Donnie Avery’s season-ending torn ACL.  In that sense, the Rams are almost lucky.

They also are fortunate to have a rookie quarterback that can help bring the best out of a veteran receiver that the Ravens had no use for.

17 responses to “A rare training camp trade that made a huge impact

  1. good for mark clayton. he could never get it done here in Bmore. Whether that was because our QB was bad or because he was not utilized correctly is the question. personally i thought he was always miscast as the x or y and was a better slot receiver which is a lot of where he is playing.
    it worked out for both teams. mark clayton will never be confused with Q who we got in trade for a song and TJ just caught the winning pass for the Ravens against the Steelers.
    Good to see him succeed. He was a stand up guy her and a good person.

  2. There’s been a lot of talk about how close him and Bradford have been. Running routes after practice is over and stuff like that. They also practiced with each other back in Bradford’s college days. These two have had an instant connection.
    Thanks Ravens… but I understand the move on their part

  3. Mark Clayton was always a stand-up guy while with Baltimore. Many here never forgave him for that drop against the Patriots during the regular season last year but most of us also remember that beautiful one-handed catch against the Bungles a few years ago.
    It was always hit or miss with Mark, never could be consistent. Definitely wish him luck in St Louis though!

  4. Best of luck Mark, when I saw the news I picked him up in both my leagues and he does done just perfect as an every week flex player ….

  5. Total class act who I believed the Ravens never utilized correctly. Willing to put in extra work to bond w/ the QB. He would stay after practie w/ Boller & actually lived with him for a while to even try to help. I am hapy things have worked out well for him.

  6. First off @RAMBradford is smoking crack. How did these 2 practice back in Bradford’s college days when Clayton was drafted when Bradford graduated High School?
    Second, good for Clayton. He showed glimpses of greatness but would drop too many passes to be consistent. Sometimes a change-of-scenery helps a person.
    It also helps that this is his contract year.

  7. I must be taking crazy pills cause noones taking any pot shots at the rams or mark in these comments. amazing.

  8. @JoeFlaccosUniBrow
    Guess what, Mark Clayton is an Oklahoma alum, and he would workout there in the offseason. Just b/c the guys didn’t go to school at the same time doesn’t mean they haven’t worked out together before.
    Great personnel move by Devaney.

  9. @dannymac17
    Most Ravens fans don’t take pot-shots at any of the 28 other NFL teams (AFC North excluded).
    Mark was a stand-up guy that was liked here in Charm City, but he could not pull his talents together on a week-to-week basis. We are a fiercely loyal city.
    If it makes you feel better: No need to take pot shots when a team has won 8 games in 4 years. Nuff Said!

  10. UniBrow, Clayton went back to his alma mater in the off-season and took throws from Bradford. I’ve heard it from professional NFL analysts as well as amateur commenters. So…you know…put YOUR crack pipe down.

  11. I don’t think Clayton was poorly utilized in B’More, he just didn’t have anyone worth a shit throwing to him. Hell, Jerry Rice would have been run-of-the-mill with those ragarms.

  12. Clayton’s an awesome player, but I think he just wasn’t a good fit for the Ravens. By that, I mean Flacco definitely seems to do well with larger receivers like Bolden and Housh. Maybe that’s Flacco’s fault.
    Clayton’s an awesome player, though. Who gives a crap if he dropped the ball a couple times… nearly everyone does at one point or another. He also had that awesome TD pass to Mason. Glad to see him do well with the Rams.

  13. The reason for the “lovefest” from the ravens fans is that Mark Clayton never caused a problem when he was here. He had some hamstring issues and missed a few games. If you look at the stats the guy had very very few drops. He was involved in the community and never had any personal problems that would have turned people off.
    The biggest issue was that the guy was a mid to low level first rounder who never made the impact in terms of production, that he was hoped to have made. His biggest issue is getting off of press coverage and when you had Kyle Boller laying you out and being erratic that was an issue. Flacco and he really never got on the same page but there was no animosity.
    When he is in the slot and playing against the lower end of the other teams defensive backfield, he has a huge advantage. But in the AFCN where the Ravens being a typical playoff team he was facing much better DB’s then he is with the Rams and their schedule. Not a low blow. Just the truth. He had a terrible time beating the Bengal corners Hall and Joseph.
    In any case, I doubt you will see many Raven fans take potshots at Clayton or the Rams. I suspect that most of us wish Mark well until that time that he comes back to play us and then we’ll treat him like an opposing player. Just one mans opinion.

  14. It’s the age-old story of a player that just needed a change of scenery. He has always been talented and a classy guy. I have a picture of him posing w/me at a fanfest taken by my wife. The reason it’s special to me is that after the pic was taken, he could have just walked away, but he stayed and talked for awhile and didn’t act like he was a prima donna. He seems like a really cool person and St. Louis is lucky to have him. I wish him a pro bowl season.

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