Could storied NFL writer John Clayton be on his way to writing about sports betting? Maybe. Clayton, whohosts a daily sports radio show and podcast as well as writing for Seattle ESPN Radio affiliate KIRO-AM, may well be on the move. The question is where.
“We can’t announce anything right now, but he will definitely be active this fall,” Clayton’s agent Gary O’Hagan told Sports Handle. “I think it will be a little different this fall, maybe by around Sept. 1.”
Clayton, who is in Minnesota this weekend working the Seattle Seahawks-Vikings preseason game, was laid off by ESPN in April 2017, along with about 100 other reporters, anchors, analysts and production staff. The layoff meant that Clayton could no longer work for ESPN’s flagship in Bristol (or its competition), but, he told Sports Handle, according to the contract he had negotiated before the layoff, he has continued to work for KIRO in Seattle as well as filling in on Sirius XM’s “Moving the Chains.”
Clayton Is an Expert When It Comes to Injury Reporting, a Key Piece of Information for Both Sports Bettors and Operators.
The upshot is that Clayton, like any other ESPN talent that had a contract, is drawing a paycheck from Bristol for, in essence, not working for the mothership. At the same time, the contract he had previously negotiated has allowed him to continue his career, albeit in a smaller spotlight.
Among the other big names that were laid off at the same time as Clayton are Ed Werder, Trent Dilfer, Jarrett Bell, Ryan Clark, and Ashley Fox.
Clayton is known through the sports media industry as an expert on injury reporting, which is a key piece for both sports bettors and operators. He was also recently a guest on Dr. David Chao’s Sirius XM radio show. Chao, known in the business as“#Pro Football Doc,” is Sirius XM’s sports medical analyst and he also appears regularly on the NFL Network. He is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist who served as the then San Diego Chargers team physician from 1997-2013.
Many Former ESPN Employees Negotiated the Ability to Work for Other Entities in Their Contracts.
Though neither Hagan nor Clayton would say exactly what the next step is, Clayton’s contract with ESPN’s flagship will run out at some point, and it’s a savvy move to have a new position lined up before the contract does expire.
“I have two (companies) that have approached me. But again, if I do it, one of two things have to happen – ESPN either has to approve it or I have to leave ESPN,” Clayton said. “I’ve had two new job offers this week – did you take either of them? No. Things might happen and things might not happen, but until something does happen, it hasn’t happened.
“Might that change? It might. But until it does, I am 100 percent full-time ESPN.”