First came the end of April, where ESPN fired about 100 notable writers, anchors and commentators. Two weeks ago, the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" decided to announce that they were axing their long-running and popular radio show 'Mike & Mike' at some point later this year. Around that same time, they also announced they were hiring Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, who will join the network in July. Now, sources have told "Sporting News" that John Clayton, one of the longest tenured employees at ESPN, is leaving the network as part of the company's continued layoffs.

Clayton's early career

John Clayton started covering sports in high school for the Daily Press in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania. During his time at college he wrote for "Steel City Sports" and became a staff writer for the Pittsburgh Steelers after the paper changed to "Score! Pittsburgh." He also served as a stinger for radio networks, covered games and did part-time work for the "Pittsburgh Press." In 1976, he graduated from Duquesne University and worked for the "Pittsburgh Press" until 1986, after he had become a beat writer.

In 1978, Clayton first gained fame for covering the "Shouldergate" affair. While at a Steelers mini-camp, he reported a rule violation -- that the players were practicing with shoulder pads on. This would cost the Steelers a third-round draft pick and cause a lot of hate to be directed at Clayton from Steelers fans and even some fellow local reporters.

He then went to Washington to work for "The News Tribune" in Tacoma, where he covered the Seattle Seahawks until 1998.

He also started to appear on NFL segments of "The Fabulous Sports Babe," a Seattle sports show. When the show got picked up by ESPN to be nationally syndicated, Clayton was also brought in by the network to be an NFL correspondent.

Clayton's time at ESPN

John Clayton joined ESPN in 1995 as a writer and later would host a weekly radio show during the NFL's offseason. He would also later work as a commentator on the network and had worked his way up to becoming a senior NFL writer.

Clayton will still have his own weekday radio show at 710 ESPN KIRO Seattle. However, this station is not owned by ESPN but only licenses the network's name.

Clayton should have no trouble finding work as a respected NFL writer. It also helps that he received the Dick McCann Memorial Award in 2007 from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This honor also placed him in the writer's wing of the hall. He was also put into the Sports Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Duquense University, back in 2001.

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