The Buccaneers signed one expensive defensive end this offseason, and they’ve chosen not to have two of them next year.
That puts Clayborn on the market after this year, though the Bucs could still sign him to an extension or tag him if they choose.
“It doesn’t matter either way to me,” Clayborn said. “Even if they did give it to me, it’s not guaranteed. I just have to come out and have a good year. Either way, it works out for itself.”
Clayborn was good-not-great last year, with 5.5 sacks after missing the previous year with an ACL tear. But he was moved to left end when the Bucs signed Michael Johnson from the Bengals. That should help Clayborn attract less attention, which could help his market.
“It’s been a rough two years for me, being hurt and then last year not playing the way I wanted to,” Clayborn said. “I feel like with this system it’s really prime for me to have a good year. It’s up to me to make it happen.”
If he does, he’s in position to cash in, from someone other than the Bucs.