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Browns release Adrian Clayborn

Veteran defensive end’s release frees up around $3 million in salary cap space as Browns prepare for the start of free agency.

Divisional Round - Cleveland Browns v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns released veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn on Tuesday.

The move frees up around $3 million in salary cap space as general manager Andrew Berry prepares for the opening of free agency on March 17.

The Browns signed Clayborn in free agency a year ago to a two-year, $5.75 million contract to serve as a situational pass rusher and depth piece. He played in 15 games in 2020, making two starts, and finished the season with 3.5 sacks and 12 tackles. While he was third on the club with 27 quarterback pressures, Clayborn struggled against the run - grading at 46.4 by Pro Football Focus - and his overall grade of 57.8 made him expendable.

Clayborn’s release leaves the Browns with a collection of “who’s that guy” at defensive end behind Myles Garrett, with a current roster of Porter Gustin, Joe Jackson, Cameron Malveaux, George Obinna, Curtis Weaver and Travis Young.

If it was not clear before, it is clear now that Berry will be looking at defensive ends in free agency and the draft to bulk up the position group and give Garrett a helping hand.