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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Michael Clayton doesn't play but remains confident he'll stick with Bucs



Receiver Michael Clayton, clearly on the bubble with final cuts six days away, did not play in Saturday's game against Jacksonville, begging the question of whether that says something about his status with the club.

In Clayton’s opinion, the answer is clear.

"I have full confidence that I will be here," Clayton said. "You never know what’s going to happen. With our youth, with everything that we’ve got going, I would say in my opinion, it would be beneficial that I would be here. That’s just my opinion. I know it doesn’t count."

Clayton’s base salary of $3 million this fall is guaranteed, but the Bucs would entertain trading the veteran who disappointed the club last season after signing a $26 million deal. They might opt to release him despite the guaranteed salary, which will complicate those efforts to trade him.

Coach Raheem Morris said Clayton’s absence from the game was not indicative of anything, saying coaches wanted to take a longer look at rookie Arrelious Benn and some other receivers. Morris said Clayton would play Thursday night in Houston.

And no matter what, Clayton still believes that final preseason game won't be his final game in a Bucs uniform.

"I think I'll be here," he said. "I just think with my experience, with the things I've been through, I can't see it any other way."

[Last modified: Sunday, August 29, 2010 1:49am]


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