Longtime ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton dies at 67

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SEATTLE — Longtime NFL reporter John Clayton died Friday after a short illness. He was 67 years old.

The Seattle Seahawks announced the death of Clayton’s family in a declaration. Clayton has worked for the team for the past few years as a sideline reporter on radio shows.

Nicknamed “The Professor,” Clayton spent more than two decades covering the Pittsburgh Steelers for The Pittsburgh Press and the Seattle Seahawks for The News Tribune in Tacoma. Clayton moved to ESPN in 1995, becoming one of the senior NFL writers for the company. Clayton has appeared on television and radio for ESPN and worked at the company for over 20 years.


“His wife Pat and sister Amy were by his side and communicated earlier that he passed away peacefully after a brief illness,” tweeted longtime ESPN colleague Chris Mortensen. “We loved John. We mourn his loss.”

FILE – John “The Professor” Clayton, NFL football writer and reporter for ESPN, stands on the sidelines during an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, 25 September 2016, in Seattle. Clayton passed away on Friday March 18, 2022 after a short illness. He was 67 years old.
(Associated Press)

Clayton received what is now known as the Bill Nunn Memorial Award from the Professional Football Writers of America in 2007. The price is present annually for his long and distinguished football reporting.

“The PFWA mourns the passing of John Clayton. John was the 19th President of the PFWA (1999-2000) and the recipient of the organization’s 2007 Bill Nunn Jr. Award,” the organization said in a statement. “‘The Professor’ was a friend to so many in our company. Our condolences to his wife Pat, family, colleagues and many friends.”


Clayton also hosted regular sports radio shows in Seattle for KJR-AM and KIRO-AM throughout his career.


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