Patriots release defensive end Adrian Clayborn

Adrian Clayborn
Adrian Clayborn pressures Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff during the first quarter. –Jim Davis /Globe Staff

Up against the salary cap, the Patriots cleared some room by releasing defensive end Adrian Clayborn Friday.

“Thank you [to the Patriots] for my time with the organization. I gained so much respect for how you do things and win championships,’’ Clayborn posted on Twitter Friday. “It’s done the right way through hard work. Thank you for granting my release. I’m ready for this next chapter.’’

By releasing Clayborn, the Patriots clear $3.9 million from their 2019 salary cap. Clayborn, 30, was one of the better-known free agent signings the Patriots made this time last year, giving him a two-year, $10 million contract with $5.5 million guaranteed. The Patriots will carry a $2 million dead cap charge for Clayborn’s contract in 2019 with him off the roster.


Clayborn made solid contributions – his best game was against Green Bay – but didn’t make a major impact and was a healthy scratch in the team’s last two regular season games. He played 30 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and finished the regular season with 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits and a forced fumble, mostly working as a rush end on obvious passing downs. Given the Patriots’ salary cap situation, Clayborn falls into the same category as tight end Dwayne Allen as a veteran whose contributions in New England were appreciated, but were no longer coming at the right price.