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February 28, 2009 @ 5:20 pm
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Clayton To Re-Sign With Bucs

Written by Jim
Jim Flynn


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Tampa Bay free agent wide receiver Michael Clayton will re-sign with the Buccaneers. Clayton, 26, will ink a new five-year contract with the Bucs and apparently turned down more money from Seattle to re-sign with Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay's first two signings of free agency involve their own players.

After re-signing safety Will Allen to a one-year deal earlier in the day, the Buccaneers will end the second day of the free agent signing period by inking free agent wide receiver Michael Clayton to a new deal.

Clayton, 26, will sign a new five-year contract with the Bucs, as first reported by WDAE 620's Steve Duemig.

A 2004 first-round draft pick, Clayton received significant interest from other teams on the open market, including Detroit and Seattle. According to the Duemig, Clayton turned down more money with Seattle to re-sign with Tampa Bay.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Clayton has 205 career catches for 2,706 yards (13.2 avg.) and nine touchdowns. He exploded onto the scene as a rookie, catching 80 passes for 1,193 yards and seven touchdowns in 2004. However, Clayton scored just two touchdowns over the next four seasons and struggled with injuries.

However, Clayton stayed healthy in 2008 and caught 38 passes for 484 yards (12.7 avg.) and scored one touchdown.

Clayton's return means the Bucs will have both of their starting wide receivers - Clayton and Antonio Bryant, who recently signed his franchise tender -- from the 2008 season on their 2009 roster.

Despite re-signing Clayton, the Bucs still are believed to be interested in several free agent receivers, including Devery Henderson and Nate Washington.

Tampa Bay is reportedly scheduled to visit with T.J. Houshmandzadeh on Sunday, according to ESPN. PewterReport.com could not confirm that report with Houshmandzadeh's agent or the Bucs, and it is unclear whether Clayton's re-signing will change his scheduled visit.

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