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Falcons sign defensive end Clayborn, cornerback Adams
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn (94) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) during the first quarter of a 2013 game in Tampa, Fla. - photo by BRIAN BLANCO

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons added defensive help from the free-agent market Thursday by signing defensive end Adrian Clayborn and cornerback Phillip Adams.

Adams will provide depth behind Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Robert McClain. Clayborn could provide immediate help as a starter — if he can avoid more injuries after playing in only a little more than half of his team's games in his first four seasons.

Clayborn, a first-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2011, played in only one game in 2014 due to a torn biceps. He had six sacks and ranked fourth in the NFL with 19 tackles for loss with the Buccaneers in 2013. His 14½ run stuffs in 2013 tied for the NFL lead, according to STATS.

Clayborn's played in only three games in 2012 due to a knee injury. When healthy, he has been productive with a combined 13 sacks in 2011 and 2013, his only full seasons. He set a career high with 7½ sacks as a rookie.

He announced the signing on his Twitter feed.

"Excited for my new and fresh start with the Atlanta Falcons! Can't wait to get started! #RiseUp," Clayborn said.

The Falcons tied for 30th in the league with 22 sacks last season. Kroy Biermann, an unrestricted free agent, led Atlanta with 4½ sacks last season.

Atlanta also has interest in Titans free-agent defensive end Derrick Morgan, the former Georgia Tech standout. Morgan visited the Falcons' facility Wednesday.

Adams started four games for the Jets last season. He also has spent time with the 49ers, Patriots, Seahawks and Raiders. He had two interceptions with the Raiders in 2012.

The Falcons opened the free-agent period Tuesday by signing linebackers Brooks Reed of Houston and Justin Durant of Dallas. Atlanta also signed offensive lineman Mike Person and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson this week.

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