John Clayton out at ESPN

ESPN has let go of yet another longtime NFL reporter.

John Clayton, who has covered the NFL for ESPN for 23 years, has been laid off, according to Sporting News.

Clayton’s ESPN Radio show in Seattle will remain in place, as the local ESPN Radio affiliates are not actually owned by ESPN. But he is done covering the league for ESPN on television and on ESPN.com.

ESPN is laying off about 100 employees. Clayton joins a list of many laid-off ESPN workers who are recognizable to NFL fans, a list that also includes Adam Caplan, Andrew Brandt, Trent Dilfer, Ed Werder, Britt McHenry, Ashley Fox and Paul Kuharsky.

166 responses to “John Clayton out at ESPN

  1. when was the last time ESPN actually showed highlights of sports continuously like it used to be??? probably almost 20 years ago. Its a borderline reality tv show with too many talking heads that have an opinion. no thanks.

  2. As a close friend of the organization it is sad to see good ol’ Clay gone but he should bounce back quick if he decides to not retire. I see him as a Deadspin or Barstool kind of guy.

  3. Selfishly, being from Seattle, this is great news. His morning show is top notch. Best radio show period.

  4. Being a Raider fan, I naturally like Charles Woodson at ESPN. But aside from C-Wood, the only ESPN NFL analyst that I ever really liked was the late Pete Axthelm (millennials will have to do a google search to find out who he was).

    To John Clayton’s credit, he was different then most of the other ESPN NFL personalities in that I didn’t actively dislike him.

  5. LOL its kinda funny, all of the 100 people that ESPN let go are people that lean towards the right in politics. ESPN Showing their true colors finally. good thing i got rid of that trash

  6. The guy knew what he knew. The people left don’t even know what they “know.”

  7. another insider that’s now an outsider, I guess.

    I haven’t watched ESPN or read anything on their website for years….but I did used to like reading Clayton’s articles (well, the ones that weren’t ‘insider’ articles) back in the day.

  8. I will miss that little piece of saliva that adhere’s to Clayton’s bottom lip when he provides his eloquent team assessments. Everything must come to an end at some point.

  9. Why would they keep him?! He is one of the only people who actually has some talent and doesn’t act like he is auditioning for the Comedy Channel when speaking. ESPN is a joke. I can’t even watch Sports Center anymore. Can anyone tell me the last time one of those hacks actually uttered a sentence during a highlight with throwing out a one liner in a feeble attempt to generate a laugh??!! I don’t need a stand up comedian every time they show a highlight!!

  10. ESPN is on a mission…??? mission, but a mission…I understand you at times have to release people for business purposes…but WHO they’ve released and who they’ve kept is just brain freezing! And no excuses given to the “fans” of the released! Some of these released have created a fan base. Many of them, not all, do really good work and are thorough. ESPN should explain…don’t have to but please…It’s like every other week a shocking execution…

  11. So they are keeping two journalists who suck at their jobs and have basically 360 days to prep (Kiper and McShay) and are getting rid of quality talented reporters who actually work for a living like Clayton. Huh?

    And 23 years of employment then laid off. Ouch, that’s harsh.

    ESPN needs to reinvent itself and start broadcasting sports again (even lesser known ones). With Twitter and other social media outlets, by the time Sportscenter comes on, everyone has already seen the highlights. It’s becoming like the newspaper, a thing of the past.

  12. Makes sense. He was an actual reporter who reported sport news. Can’t have that on ESPN!

  13. One more “goofy” ESPN commercial to throw in the trash bin…what happened, those commercials made that place look so happy…whhhaaa?

    Clayton was solid, NFL network should make their move.

  14. This sucks and Ryen Russillo is still on the air … How that guy gets a radio show is beyond me.

  15. I didn’t know that smokin’ hot Britt McHenry also lost her job. I hope she finds a new job in television and doesn’t end up as a Walmart cashier.

  16. Clayton is out, and sheffter still has a job. Ridiculous. How much nicer would it be to never have to see sheffter and joe buck again?

  17. He will be a great addition to the NFL Network if he chooses to continue. Caplan would also be a nice addition.

  18. I will miss the cat and mouse game he always played with the ponytail. Will he now finally admit he has one?

  19. Tales from the crypt…(adjusts tie). Seriously though this is a huge blow to lose a guy like him. Espn is becoming more unwatchable as the days go by.

  20. The professor. Wtf. Pittsburgh guy who wrote for the Pittsburgh press years ago. Busted Chuck Noll for having practice with pads during during spring workouts

  21. Clayton is one of the only guys that when you listen to a loca sports l radio station and they have him come on you know he is a credible source. Good guy and deserves better than ESPN.

  22. He was probably let go because he did not agree with that Seth Wickersham article last week. Mainly questioning the unnamed sources on his phone among other things. That piece was the piece ESPN was hoping to get more traction from and it failed.

  23. The issue here is ESPN is trying to appeal to what they think is todays demographics. This is why their programming has become a combination of Comedy/Central and Yo MTV raps. They are failing to realize there are a ton of viewers that actually like hearing good reporting on issues like injuries, X’s and O’s, etc. And trust me I’m not trying to make this racial but I find it highly suspect that they let good reporters go like John Clayton and Ed Werder yet keep blowhards who bring nothing to the table like Michael and Jamele, Josina Anderson, and Stephan A Smith.

  24. Isn’t Clayton the guy who kept pushing the Fake News about Brady and his alleged deflated balls?

    Scientifically, Deflategate goes against the Laws of Science and panders to VooDoo nonsense as well as the NFL’s arbitrary and illogical fantasy world that Goodell has created and maintains.

  25. Surprised he lasted this long as Schefter pretty much does the same job and does it better. I also recall when Schefter got hired everyone saying good riddance to both him and Mort, but now 5 years later I’m sure everyone in these comments was a big fan in hindsight and haven’t noticed that his role on the network greatly diminished the last few years.

  26. He’s been “mailing it in” for years. He stopped doing his homework on teams a long time ago and really knows only as much about the current NFL as any numbskull with an internet connection.

  27. Guess he didn’t pass muster with the Disney PC inquisitors. Time to merge BSPN with CNN. Probably didn’t help that he is a “Pittsburgh guy”.

  28. Shame. ESPN rapidly going even further down the tubes.

    Clayton at least has plenty of time for meatloaf now I guess.

  29. ESPN will probably give Kap a job. Other than an occasional baseball game, I don’t watch the channel anymore.

  30. Glad to see Mr. Seahawks go. Hope KTAR in Phoenix can break their crush on him and stop inviting him on their morning sports show for his weekly blithering about his Seahawks love affair.

  31. A good guy that does a great job at what he does.

    It really is a shame that the folks in charge at ESPN made a series of horrendous decisions forcing many people at ESPN out of a job.

    And not just the High Priced big names, lots of regular old people like you and I.

  32. Well, I think that sucks. I really enjoyed his insight, news, and analysis. And I’m a Ravens fan.

  33. Interesting that alot of comments posted bring in race over the firing of The Crypt Keeper as Sean Salisbury called Clayton like the poor white guy’s are targeted which is utterly laughable. When in fact that entire cesspool of a network needs to be taken of air.

  34. Back in 2004 the last time I even watched the worldwide joke of sportscasting, Clayton was terrible.

    He picked the Pats to lose every single game that year as they went on to go 14-2 and win the Super Bowl. Why? Because he thought every week “they’re just due for a loss”

    He’s an idiot.

  35. What remains to be seen is if ESPN will actually figure out why this is happening. When you start injecting politics into sports, you’re bound to upset at least half your audience.

    Like Michael Jordan (big political lefty) used to say: “Republicans buy sneakers too”. Well, Republicans and conservatives used to watch and listen to ESPN.

  36. I quit watching ESPN years ago. I listen to Clayton as many times in the day as he is on.
    Screw the corporations

  37. “Hopefully, another network gets MNF soon so I can cancel my subscription.”

    I didn’t wait. And last season the MNF games were awful. But they look better this season.

    Clayton is better than a lot of the people ESPN is keeping. ESPN has really deteriorated in the past three years.

  38. When ESPN broadcasts college basketball games, the announcers are in Bristol watching the game on a monitor and announcing the game. They started doing this a couple years ago to “save money”, by not having travel expenses for announcers. This network is circling the bowl as the flush handle has already been pulled.

  39. Another REAL journalist shown the door at ESPN…..meanwhile we are left with Stephen A, Max Kellerman, Jemele Hill, Michael Smith, and Ryen Russillo, and Heather Storm……..YUUUUCKKK!!!

    I too don’t understand why ESPN puts such an importance on the archaic and outdated Sports Center—gee, even the sports segments on the local news shows the same highlights, but ESPN prefers that instead of show with REAL REPORTING and REAL JOURANLISTS! It seems ESPN prefers loud mouth no nothings spouting and promoting personal agendas!!!! Prediction—their ratings will continue to tank—

  40. “White males with knowledge and insight on America’s favorite sport are no longer required at ESPN.”

    Well since they just hired Chip Kelly, I think this is a baseless whine.

  41. Didn’t fit the current ESPN mold of loud mouthed, clueless ex-player who delivers hot takes by the second without a shred of information.

    At some point, ESPN decided they wanted their NFL coverage to be patterned after the WWE. Been downhill since then.

  42. Chip Kelly and Rex Ryan….they are looking for the audience that will tune in cause they need to look at a car accident as they drive by. Once Disney stops funding ESPN the entire network will go away

  43. In a few years I’m sure they’re going to have Van Jones and Symone Sanders covering “Sports”.

  44. ESPN deserves every single thing they get. They have become a political leftist machine and not firing Britt McHenry after she verbally assaulted that poor woman at the towing company made me stop watching Sports Center or any other ESPN trash.

  45. There were many minorities and liberals fired. A lot of people are just cherry picking that part. Also, if you hold up someone like Curt Schilling as a conservative icon, you have really low standards. Then again it’s bizarro world where fake-conservatives support bilking tax payers out of tens of millions of dollars and seizing homes from widows to give to failed casino developers. Of course, you are right when you say a lot of terrible people are staying, included some high earners who would have been logical cuts.

  46. All the good talent ESPN has let go, yet they continue to air Stephen A. Smith and that abysmally awful & unwatchable SC6 show.

  47. I am just DONE with ESPN. They overpaid for sports broadcast fees for everything and then cannibalized the on air talent to save money? Now they will bring in some “fresh faces” with ZERO talent (but work really cheap) and tell us how great they are.
    Pure scum move.

  48. crush22 says:
    May 31, 2017 9:24 AM
    I’m sure he’s not bothered.
    He’s probably tired of all the hip-hop they play 24/7 on there anyway.
    ———————————————————
    Stop projecting your own biases and applying them to people you don’t know.

    “Whom do you follow on Twitter that would surprise people?
    P. Diddy and a bunch of rappers. That would probably surprise a lot of people.” – John Clayton, New York Times interview

  49. Stupid, stupid, STUPID move by ESPN.

    Clayton was the only analyst on that network I respected. The only one who’s articles I sought out and devoured on ESPN’s site. No reason to go to espn.com at all now.

    Sorry, John. I’ll still read your articles, wherever they appear.

  50. You white guys sense of entitlement is amazing and sad at the same time. Yes there were a lot of white people that were fired because the majority of people who worked at ESPN are white.

    The racism is strong in this comment section, but it’s good to see how people really feel especially when they feel threatened or have to deal with an unexpected change.

    Who knew John Clayton had so many racist fan boys…

  51. ESPN Is The Sports Version Impact Wrestling A Sinking Ship Put Them Out Of It’s Misery Already

  52. It is no secret that he and Chris Mortenson didn’t get along. I wonder if that had something to do with this?

  53. patrpatton says:
    May 31, 2017 10:25 AM

    This sucks and Ryen Russillo is still on the air … How that guy gets a radio show is beyond me.

    I agree but he is very safe in his job. He is all NBA all the time guy and with ESPN these days that is the way to keep your job.

  54. We’re our own worst enemy. ESPN extended ‘sports entertainment’ to include it’s studio hosts, reporters etc. They became characters and we loved it. With all of the different media channels now available, most notably social media, the markets are saturated with people trying to distinguish themselves with their “take” on a particular subject and the subjects are 1,000 fold what they were ten years ago. Solid guys like Clayton that dig and do the dirty work, stick to the facts and develop relationships are unfortunately outliers now.

  55. Maybe I’m in the minority but i never cared for him. He came off as smug and used ‘sources’ more than anyone, despite him being out of touch with the league and wrong more and more in recent years. Also he was a Peyton Manning over Brady guy right up until the end, so just hard to take him setiously. That and the commercials LOL

  56. one of my favorite senior NFL insiders at ESPN for years. I always thought he told the story the right way, without trying to hype it into something it wasn’t.

    But look Stephen A Smith and Jalen Rose still have jobs at ESPN? those guys are awful.

  57. I now like John Clayton more than I already did. I would dislike espn more than I already did, but that is not possible.

  58. I liked Clayton. However, he had been there a long time, was making good bank, and was probably deemed to old to that all important 18-30 years of age demographics that most companies covet.

  59. Michael and Jamele just might be the worst show on TV. How can it still be on?

    Don’t watch ESPN anymore. They ruined a good thing there by pandering to the PC crowd.

  60. Sorry to hear about people losing their jobs but ESPN is bloated. I’ve never heard of most of those you just listed because I have this thing called a life and don’t watch ESPN 24/7. (Maybe I’m not their audience?)

  61. well..he lives in Seattle and has studio in his home…the Prof has a contact list a mile long and always knows more than the next guy…or next hundred guys… wish you well prof~~~ tap ‘er light.

  62. Next to be let go…the moron…LEBATARD

    And after him…Polian

    Get some people in there w/knowledge and abilty to communicate facts

  63. ESPN is a JOKE of an organization.

    They bought the stupid Bountygate garbage the NFL was selling.

    They bought the bogus Deflategate garbage the NFL was selling.

    They have fired about 90% of the people at the network who knew anything about sports and they have retained a bunch of talking head blowhards who don’t know jack about sports.

    I used to be a fairly loyal watcher of the four letter network, know as ESPN. Now I don’t watch that JOKE of a network anymore. What a disgrace.

    ESPN = JOKE

    The new name for the four letter network.

  64. I’d love to see photos of all you goobers mocking his physical appearance. I’m sure you’re all male models.

    We’ll miss you, Professor.

  65. “smoov513 says:
    May 31, 2017 2:23 PM

    You white guys sense of entitlement is amazing and sad at the same time. Yes there were a lot of white people that were fired because the majority of people who worked at ESPN are white.

    The racism is strong in this comment section, but it’s good to see how people really feel especially when they feel threatened or have to deal with an unexpected change.

    Who knew John Clayton had so many racist fan boys…”

    You think that’s something, can you even imagine the kind of people who like Stephen A. Smith?

    Besides, is it really racists to wonder why an actual journalist is let go, while an unprofessional bigot like Stephen A. Smith, with no sports knowledge, who is paid to have sports debates, who thinks yelling the same uniformed opinion louder makes a real counter point?

    Or is it just plain obvious right before our very eyes, what is going on?

    Let me give you a hint..ESPN wants to attract younger liberal audiences, that want to be “entertained” rather then informed.

    Make of that what you will…

  66. norcalcard says:
    Jun 1, 2017 3:22 PM

    You think that’s something, can you even imagine the kind of people who like Stephen A. Smith?

    Besides, is it really racists to wonder why an actual journalist is let go, while an unprofessional bigot like Stephen A. Smith, with no sports knowledge, who is paid to have sports debates, who thinks yelling the same uniformed opinion louder makes a real counter point?

    Or is it just plain obvious right before our very eyes, what is going on?

    Let me give you a hint..ESPN wants to attract younger liberal audiences, that want to be “entertained” rather then informed.

    Make of that what you will…
    ________________________________________

    So many questions…

    1.What does Stephen A. Smith have to do with John Clayton being laid off?

    2.Are you blaming him for John Clayton losing his job?

    3.How do you know ESPN’s marketing strategy?

    4.Do you truly understand the definition of racism and difference between racism, bigotry, and prejudice?

    I really don’t understand your “logic” or basis for your argument. As for Stephen A. Smith, I’m not the biggest fan. I think he’s a loudmouth guy that thinks that whomever talks the loudest is right, but to say he’s not a real journalist is just wrong.

    He worked as a sports journalist for 20 years before he started doing TV and radio, and he played college sports. Don’t let your hate from him cloud you of the facts, to rational people it makes you seem a bit unhinged.

    I don’t see how Smith is a racist though, maybe you can provide some proof him being racist besides the opinions you have made up in head.

    How

  67. Sports Center went from being one of my favorite shows years ago to me hardly watching it anymore. I know I am not alone with ts evaluation either. If ESPN wants to fix their budget, fire the guy that’s in charge of Sports Center and make it like it was 10 years ago.

  68. ESPN used to be a SPORTS network. If they would spend less time pushing their leftist political agenda, maybe they wouldn’t be losing so many subscribers, and they also wouldn’t need to be laying off so many staff members.

  69. So basically,all ESPN has for programming is shows with two people with opposing views yelling at and arguing with each other. Not my cup of tea,even when they came out with PTI. I miss Sportscenter,which is now a thing of the past.

  70. I had no idea John Clayton had this many fans, apparently his useless injury reports will be missed dearly.

  71. How about this keep John Clayton and stop shoving kieth oberlman down are throats. He sucks his catch phrases suck and I will not watch anything he is apart of cut him loose espn and NBC

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