Veteran DE Adrian Clayborn tweeted that the Patriots have granted him his release, which was a move foreshadowed based on his rising salary-cap charge ($5.9 million) and niche role from 2018. Clayborn's release will save the Patriots about $3.5 million in cap space for 2019. He played 30 percent of the defensive snaps in the 2018 regular season, with his primary contributions coming as a rusher in obvious passing situations. Clayborn's uncertain future with the team came into focus late in the year when he was a healthy scratch for Patriots' final two games. Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis and Trent Harris are in-house candidates to fill Clayborn's role, while the draft is considered rich in that area.