When Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn faces the Buccaneers on Sunday, he said he would have no hard feelings for the Bucs after the team chose not to re-sign him when his contract expired after last season.
In fact, Clayborn says he would have done the same thing if he were in Bucs general manager Jason Licht’s position.
“If you pay somebody and they only play two out of the four years I wouldn’t pay them again, either,” Clayborn said Wednesday. “There’s no hard feelings. It is what it is. It’s business.”
The Buccaneers selected Clayborn in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Iowa. He played in all 16 games as a rookie and also in 2013 but injuries limited him to three games in 2012 and seven last season.
The Falcons signed Clayborn to a one-year contract that included a $750,000 signing bonus, a $1 million base salary and per-game bonuses. He can make up to $3 million this season.
Clayborn, who has two sacks in seven games for the Falcons, said he doesn’t anticipate any strange feelings when facing his old teammates.
“I’m just focused on myself and playing better and getting to the quarterback more often,” he said.