Clayton, also known as "The Professor", worked for 23 years at The Pittsburgh Press and Tacoma News Tribune. He was a beat reporter covering NFL events, including the Seattle Seahawks and Steelers. In 1995, he became an NFL insider at ESPN. He was also a radio host for The John Clayton Weekends in Seattle and a reporter from the sidelines of the Seattle Seahawks Radio Network.
The Seahawks awarded him the Dick McCann Award for 2007 for his "long-and distinguished reporting on professional soccer," he wrote.
"For fifty decades, he covered league with endless energy & professionalism," Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, said Saturday. He earned my admiration and tremendous respect as a journalist, but more importantly, as a wonderful individual, especially when it comes to his love, care and devotion to Pat.
Late Friday, the Steelers made a statement calling Clayton a "Pittsburgh media legend" who would go on to "become one the most respected national NFL journalists."
Clayton was also a long-time selector at the Pro Football Hall of Fame . said that Clayton's "impact and contribution to football will be missed."
ESPN reports that Clayton was the one who broke the news 10 days back that Russell Wilson, longtime Seahawks quarterback, was moving to Denver to join the Broncos. Wilson wrote in response to Clayton's passing, saying, "We all will miss your words, brilliance."
The ESPN network also sent condolences to Clayton’s family on Friday. "We have all learned from 'The Professor' throughout the years, and we will miss them dearly."