Four years in a row, former New England Patriots cornerback Raymond Clayborn was a finalist for induction into the franchise’s Hall of Fame – and every single year he lost the public vote. In 2014, Ty Law beat him out. The following year, it was Willie McGinest before Kevin Faulk won in 2016.
Now, finally, it will be Clayborn’s turn: The Patriots announced earlier today, that he will become this year’s inductee into the Hall. Clayborn, who was with New England from 1977 until 1989 beat out fellow franchise greats Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour to earn his red jacket; the 26th given out since the inception of the Hall in 1991.
The Patriots drafted originally Clayborn in the first round of the 1977 draft. He instantly became one of the best cornerbacks and most dangerous kick returners in the NFL, as well as an integral member of New England's defense. The three-time All-Pro selection played a key role on the Patriots' first Super Bowl squad and helped the franchise to 10 winning seasons and four postseason berths.
His 36 interceptions with the team are a franchise record that still stands today (tied with Ty Law); as are his 161 consecutive games played. For his contributions to the team, Clayborn was voted a member of New England’s all-decade teams of both the 1970s and the 1980s while also joining the 35th anniversary team. Now, the 62-year old will receive one of the greatest individual honors handed out by the team: a membership in the Patriots Hall of Fame.