NFL World Reacts To The Passing Of John Clayton

A detail view of the NFL crest and logo is seen in game action during the Super Bowl LIV game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers on February 2, 2020 at Hard Rock Stadium, in Miami Gardens, FL.
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

John Clayton, NFL Insider, Hall of Famer, ESPN stalwart, and the man appropriately nicknamed “The Professor”, passed away on Friday, March 18, 2022, at the age of 67.

No precise cause of death has been released though it was stated he suffered from a brief illness.

His death came as a shock to the NFL community.

He had a Saturday morning ESPN Seattle radio show and was on Twitter dissecting the Russell Wilson trade and analyzing the aftermath of it a little over a week before his death.

Wilson paid homage to Clayton with a brief but heartfelt Tweet.

Clayton was both astute in the game’s nuances and a likable personality on camera.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN narrated this tribute to Clayton when news of his death became public.

Here is how the NFL world reacted to the shocking news.

A Kind And Caring Person

Sean Salisbury, who was on ESPN and worked closely with Clayton, shared his thoughts.

More than one colleague or former colleague described Clayton as a great mentor and someone always willing to help the younger reporters, in particular, who were just starting out.

He was generous with his time and talents and was beloved for his sense of humor and zest for life.

Many of Clayton’s former ESPN colleagues posted the video of their favorite SportsCenter commercial that showed the other side of Clayton who was fun-loving and up for anything.

Commissioner Goodell’s Statement About Clayton

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, issued a statement.

“John Clayton, one of the first “Insiders,” helped bring fans closer to the game they loved. For five decades, he covered the league with endless energy and professionalism. He earned my tremendous respect and admiration as a journalist but more importantly as a wonderful person, particularly as it relates to the love, care, and devotion to his wife Pat. We will miss John and send our deepest condolences to Pat and his sister Amy.”

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