67-year-old NFL insider John Clayton, who was a staple on ESPN for many years, has reportedly passed away according to close friend Jeff Muzzy.
— Jeff Muzzy (@jeffmu) March 19, 2022
ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. would later confirm Clayton’s death.
John Clayton, a first-class NFL insider and our beloved longtime ESPN colleague, died today.
He also starred in the greatest This Is SportsCenter commercial of all time.
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) March 19, 2022
My friend of 22 years John Clayton died. He was one of those colleagues who was not only always eager to help you, but went above and beyond to help. He took his work seriously, with all his files and spreadsheets, but not himself. RIP to a gentleman and Hall of Famer.
— Seth Wickersham (@SethWickersham) March 19, 2022
Clayton worked for over 20 years at ESPN before getting let go by the company in 2017.
Journalists posted tributes to Clayton after news of his death surfaced online.
John Clayton, good friend, great reporter. Be at ease.
— Woody Paige (@woodypaige) March 19, 2022
A LOT of my formative years falling in love with football was spent reading and watching John Clayton. RIP to a legend. https://t.co/TAFQxoLJZC
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) March 19, 2022
RIP to John Clayton, who was a giant among NFL reporters when I first started covering the 49ers 20 years ago but never acted like a big shot. A kind man who was very good at his job. He will be missed. https://t.co/Xas6nDAB5F
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 19, 2022
the goofy radio show @paintsharpless and I did had absolutely no business getting John Clayton on to talk about the NFL — yet he came on multiple times and was an incredible guest
a true legend in every sense of the word https://t.co/YniwhHFzj1
— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) March 19, 2022
Heartbroken. Mentor. Friend. Always there for me. Played a crucial role in my career. The list of people that owe him for his guidance is immeasurable. He will be missed tremendously. R.I.P. to a Hall of Famer and Seattle legend. Love you man. https://t.co/YFNE1oPU1b
— Dave “Softy” Mahler (@Softykjr) March 19, 2022
John Clayton is a legend and we were lucky enough to have him in Seattle for the longest time. Rock on, king pic.twitter.com/QPfbwgNRF3
— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) March 19, 2022
John Clayton and John Madden passing away three months apart. Two of the most important people in my life growing up and I know many other football fans share the same feelings.
This is absolutely devastating.
— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) March 19, 2022
Heavy heart to hear about John Clayton’s passing. He was a mentor and friend. Showed me how to work sources, break stories and find open restaurants at 3 am after making MNF deadlines. He made it all look so easy. A legendary reporter, insider and character.
— Marc Connolly (@mconnolly10) March 19, 2022