By Mary Cunningham

NFL insider John “The Professor” Clayton is leaving ESPN as part of the sweeping layoffs at the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

The well-respected Clayton has served as a senior NFL writer and commentator at ESPN for 23 years.

He started covering sports as a Pennsylvania high schooler. Clayton covered the Terry Bradshaw-Mean Joe Greene Steelers for the Pittsburgh Press in 1976.

That memorable team reached the AFC championship game before it lost to Ken Stabler and John Madden’s eventual Super Bowl champion Raiders.

Clayton served as the Tacoma News Tribune’s Seahawks beat writer from 1986 through 1998.

In 2007, Clayton was inducted into the writer’s wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.