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Agent: Bucs won't pick up Clayborn's option for 2015

Adrian Clayborn, 25, had 5.5 sacks in 2013 after missing much of the previous year with a torn ACL.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Adrian Clayborn, 25, had 5.5 sacks in 2013 after missing much of the previous year with a torn ACL.

TAMPA — The agent for Adrian Clayborn, Blake Baratz, said Wednesday the Bucs informed him they won't pick up a $6.96 million option for the defensive end for 2015, a decision that benefits the team and their 2011 first-round draft pick.

The Bucs can still sign Clayborn to a long-term extension — and could still cut him next spring even if they exercised the option — but a breakout season could set him up for a big payday as an unrestricted free agent next year.

"It doesn't matter either way to me," Clayborn said. "Even if they did give it to me, it's not guaranteed. I just have to come out and have a good year.

"Either way, it works out for itself."

Clayborn, 25, had 5.5 sacks in 2013 after missing much of the previous year with a torn ACL. The Bucs made a major free-agent signing this offseason in Bengals star Michael Johnson, which will move Clayborn to left end next season.

"It's been a rough two years for me, being hurt and then last year not playing the way I wanted to," Clayborn said.

"I feel like with this system it's really prime for me to have a good year. It's up to me to make it happen."

The deadline for teams to choose whether they will pick up a player's option — which affects all first-round picks entering their fifth year — is May 3, with option-year compensation based on an average salary of top players at the position.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith declined to say what decision the team had made about the option.

"(Clayborn) is one of the guys we're counting on this year. He needs to play well this year, no matter what we do," Smith said. "He realizes that. I don't think he's really worried about that an awful lot.

"He knows he's going to be with us. If I was a betting man, I'd say he's going to have a heck of a year."

WHAT, ME WORRY? QB Mike Glennon is being evaluated during minicamp this week, and his performance could affect the Bucs' decision whether they should take a quarterback in the draft next month.

However, Glennon believes what he did as a rookie will be a bigger factor.

"They saw what I did last year, and they'll see firsthand what I do this week, and it's not really a concern of mine at all," Glennon said.

"I feel confident in myself, and I think I proved myself last year."

RUNNING ON EMPTY: Sure, it's only April. But considering how the Bucs' defense under Smith plans to run to the ball and the offense under coordinator Jeff Tedford is uptempo, conditioning will be a big factor for the Bucs.

After two practices, Smith said he has been impressed by the overall good condition of the players, who began the offseason program two weeks ago.

"With the emphasis we place on being a fast team and running to the ball and all that, you have to condition yourself for that," Smith said.

"The guys came back in pretty good shape, which is important. … It's not like we're easing in. We had a 21/2-hour practice, and thank God we haven't any injuries and things like that.

"We haven't had any guys cramping up, and that's tough.

"That's pretty impressive in the offseason in April to be putting guys through this. So I've been very impressed with the condition the players came back in."

Agent: Bucs won't pick up Clayborn's option for 2015 04/23/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:48pm]
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