New England Patriots

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff prepares to pass as New England Patriots defensive end Adrian Clayborn closes in during the first quarter in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff prepares to pass as New England Patriots defensive end Adrian Clayborn closes in during the first quarter in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Former Patriots edge rusher Adrian Clayborn revealed on his Twitter account that the team granted him his release. He thanked the organization for his time in New England, which ended with his first championship ring in a 13-3 win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

The Patriots originally signed Clayborn last offseason to a two-year deal worth up to $10 million. He earned just over $5.9 million in 2018, most of it guaranteed. Clayborn flashed at times, but didn’t quite live up to his billing as the Pats’ “big” free agent signing in a relatively quiet offseason in that market, posting a career-low 2.5 sacks and 11 QB hits (min. 13 games) in 14 games as a rotational edge rusher.

Clayborn indicated that he asked the Patriots for his release, perhaps so he can seek out a bigger role with his new team or a system that would tailor more to his strengths as a pass-rusher.

With his departure, the Patriots’ defensive end depth chart now looks like this:

Michael Bennett
Deatrich Wise Jr.
Derek Rivers
Keionta Davis
Ufomba Kamalu
Trent Harris

In free agency so far, the Patriots have focused more on the interior of the defensive line. They signed former Jets DT Mike Pennel to a two-year deal and also hosted versatile former Chiefs DL Allen Bailey for a visit.

Notable edge rushers remaining on the free-agent market include Justin Houston, Ezekiel Ansah, Clay Matthews, and Nick Perry.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.