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Adrian Clayborn considered retiring before season

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  • By Austin Knoblauch NFL.com
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Adrian Clayborn's incredible six-sack performance in the Atlanta Falcons' win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday only happened because his wife talked him out of retiring before the start of the season.

Clayborn told reporters Thursday he was seriously contemplating retirement before the start of the season, saying he was "tired of being hurt."

"I gave it thought for about a month," Clayborn said, per ESPN's Vaughn McClure. "I shared it with my wife. I told Gerald [McCoy]. I told my agent, Blake [Baratz]. My wife talked me out of it."

Clayborn, 29, was convinced his best years were behind him after sustaining ACL and MCL tears and tearing both biceps over the course of his career. He didn't count on being healthy again.

His performance against the Cowboys activated a $750,000 incentive in his contract and has sparked his interest in potential future payouts. With eight sacks on the season, the NFC's Defensive Player of the Week could receive a $1.25 million bonus if he hits 10 sacks.

"You strive for that 10 sacks, not six or eight," Clayborn said. "Getting that 10 means way more than getting the money to me because then you go in the books as a defensive end in the National Football League that had a 10-sack season. [Ten sacks] has always been my goal. I was never healthy enough to get to it."

Thanks to a particularly dreadful performance by Chaz Green and the Cowboys' offensive line, Clayborn's career seems to have been reborn.

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