Longtime NFL insider John Clayton is reportedly the latest big name to be let go as part of the network’s major restructuring. Dozens of journalists, beat writers, anchors, and commentators have been let go, including (from an NFL standpoint) Ed Werder, Trent Dilfer, Jarrett Bell, Ryan Clark, and Ashley Fox.
Clayton has been a staple of ESPN’s NFL coverage for more than two decades, covering the biggest scoops across the league and regularly appearing on SportsCenter, where he and Sean Salisbury would be mean to each other a lot. He was inducted into the “writer’s wing” of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
From a Seahawks perspective, Clayton has been a part of the Seattle scene since the 1980s, when he moved cross-country from Pittsburgh (where he was the Steelers beat writer) to cover the Seahawks for The News Tribune in Tacoma. After several years at KJR-AM, he moved to KIRO-AM when the station flipped to an all-sports format.
If you’re wondering if this also means the end of his radio show on ESPN Seattle, it won’t. The Sporting News report notes that KIRO is owned by Bonneville International, and licenses the ESPN name. Clayton may not be present on the national scene anymore (at least not for ESPN), but he’s still going to be on the local airwaves.
Oh yeah, we can’t have a Clayton post without bringing up one of the greatest This is SportsCenter commercials of all-time.