He has become the punch line of jokes, laughed at, hated by fans, and the nightmare for a young quarterback, yes, I am talking about Michael Clayton. Clayton, the 7 year veteran out of LSU has become known for his blocking ability and lack of pass catching over the years. In his 7 years with the Bucs, Clayton has recorded 221 receptions, 2936 yards, and only 10 touchdowns. In 2005 and 2007, he had 0 touchdown receptions and only 1 last year. Clayton, the first round pick of 2004, came into the organization with high hopes and after a stellar rookie campaign, has been the definition of a bust.
GM Mark Dominik truly angered fans after signing Clayton to a $24 million extension, which few could understand why he would give out that kind of money to a player that couldn’t catch a cold if he tried. Every year, Clayton continues to decline in numbers and the number of fans wanting him kicked off the team grows (blocking will not win the fans over, sorry Michael).
So the question everyone wants answered, will the Bucs trade Clayton before the start of the season or the start of training camp? The answer, as much as it hurts to say, is no. Clayton has a huge contract, a contract that many teams in this recession are not willing to take on, especially with his lack of production over the years. The Bucs want to move him, which is very clear. In the draft, they took two wide receivers (Benn and Williams) and traded with the Eagles for Reggie Brown. The Bucs have added to their receiving core, it seems that Clayton will not be on the field as much this season (good news for Freeman). But the asking price, from Dominik, is too high, probably asking for a second round pick. No team in the league wants to give up a pick and take on a contract of a under producing receiver.
So Buc fans, get ready for another long year with Clayton. Unless something amazing happens before the season starts or Dominik drops his asking price, the Bucs will have Clayton on the roster. Let us all pray that he remembers he can catch, instead of just blocking.
Tags: Michael Clayton