Reports: Patriots to sign DE Clayborn, RB Hill

Reuters

After watching some of their free agents sign elsewhere this week, the New England Patriots made a few additions of their own on Friday.

The Patriots will sign former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn, according to multiple reports, and former Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill, according to ESPN.

Per NFL Network, Clayborn's deal will be worth $12 million over two years. Terms for Hill's deal were not immediately available.

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Clayborn, 29, racked up 9.5 sacks in 2017, including five in one game against Cowboys backup left tackle Chaz Green. Other than 2012 and 2014 campaigns that were almost entirely lost to injury, Clayborn has averaged six sacks per season in his career. The former first-round pick spent the first four years of his career as a full-time starter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before taking a rotational role in Atlanta.

Only two Patriots had more than five sacks a season ago: Defensive end Trey Flowers (6.5) and linebacker Kyle Van Noy (5.5).

Clayborn marks the third major departure from the Falcons' defensive line this offseason, as defensive end Derrick Shelby was released and defensive tackle Dontari Poe joined the Carolina Panthers as a free agent.

Hill, 25, is coming off of ankle surgery that ended his 2017 campaign after seven games. After exploding onto the scene with 1,124 rushing yards and a 5.1 rushing average as a rookie, he has a total of 1,749 yards while averaging 3.6 yards per carry in the three years since. Prior to injuring his ankle last season, Hill had just 37 carries while losing playing time to then-rookie Joe Mixon.

The Patriots re-signed running back Rex Burkhead earlier this week after watching fellow free-agent back Dion Lewis leave to join the Tennessee Titans. New England has also said goodbye to free agents Nate Solder, Malcolm Butler, Danny Amendola and Johnson Bademosi.

--Field Level Media

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