Raymond Clayborn

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Raymond Clayborn
No. 26
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1955-01-02) January 2, 1955 (age 63)
Fort Worth, Texas
Career information
College: Texas
NFL Draft: 1977 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions: 36
INT yards: 555
Touchdowns: 1
Return Yards: 1,538
Return TDs: 3
Player stats at NFL.com

Raymond DeWayne Clayborn (born January 2, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas) is a former American Football cornerback who played for the New England Patriots (1977–1989) and Cleveland Browns (1990, 1991) of the National Football League (NFL). Before his NFL career, attended Green B. Trimble Technical High School[1] and played for the University of Texas at Austin.[2]

Clayborn had a superb career with the Patriots, making the Pro Bowl three times, pairing with Hall of Famer Mike Haynes to form one of the finest cornerback tandems in modern NFL history. As a rookie, he returned 28 kickoffs for 869 yards and a league-leading 3 touchdowns, giving him an NFL-best and Patriots franchise record 31.0 yards per return average. He was instrumental in the New England's 1985 AFC Title season, recording six regular season interceptions and providing shutdown coverage as the wild-card entry Patriots won three road playoff games en route to an improbable appearance in Super Bowl XX. In the Patriots 31-14 Conference Championship win over the Miami Dolphins, Clayborn helped frustrated Miami quarterback Dan Marino into having a terrible game during which he completed only 20 of 48 passes for 248 yards. Clayborn made one of two Patriots interceptions during the upset. In the subsequent 46-10 loss against the Bears in Super Bowl XX, the Patriots were undone by turnovers and smothered by Chicago's crushing 46 defense. Though Bears quarterbacks completed only 12 passes for 258 yards with no touchdowns, New England's secondary was beaten several times on catches for big gains. Clayborn recovered one of two Chicago fumbles while watching his offense turn the ball over six times.

An infamous story about a 1979 lockerroom confrontation between Clayborn and Boston Globe reporter Will McDonough has it that Clayborn, frustrated by his play after a 56-3 rout of the New York Jets, got into a shoving match with McDonough. The writer is said to have knocked the 6’0” 200 lbs. Pro Bowl corner into a laundry cart, but the story is likely apocryphal.

Clayborn finished his career with 36 interceptions, which he returned for 555 yards and a touchdown. He also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and 3 touchdowns, and recovered 4 fumbles. At the time of his retirement, his 36 interceptions were a Patriots record. He is currently the NFL Uniform Program Representative for the Houston Texans.

He was elected to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame in 2017.[3] On 29 July 2017, he signed a 1-day contract (at his request) prior to being inducted to officially retire as a New England Patriot.[4]

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