|No. 91 Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Date of birth:||September 6, 1985|
|Place of birth:||Jersey City, New Jersey|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||275 lb (125 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2016|
Robert Ayers (born September 6, 1985) is an American football defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Denver Broncos eighteenth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft and has also played for the New York Giants. He played college football at Tennessee.
Ayers was born in Jersey City, New Jersey where he attended the Sacred Heart School until the eighth grade. He spent part of his freshman year at Hoboken High School in 1999-2000 before moving to Clio, South Carolina, where attended Marlboro County High School in Bennettsville. He was an All-State linebacker and was selected to play in the 2003 Shrine Bowl as a senior. That season he recorded 112 tackles and intercepted five passes. As a junior he had 94 tackles, eight sacks, and three interceptions. In addition to football, he also lettered twice in track as a sprinter, running the 100-meter dash and 4 x 100 metres relay.
Ayers began at the University of Tennessee as a redshirt outside linebacker in 2004. As a sophomore he moved to defensive end and was a backup, recording five tackles and one sack. In 2006 he once again was a backup, totaling 25 tackles and one sack. In 2007, Ayers was once again a backup, but led the team with four sacks and 12 tackles for losses. He also had 34 tackles, two pass breakups and four quarterback pressures. As a senior in 2008 Ayers became a starter at right defensive end, recording 49 tackles, three sacks, and a team and league leading 15.5 tackles for losses. He also had six pressures and an interception.
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 3⅛ in||272 lb||4.78 s||1.62 s||2.78 s||4.46 s||7.07 s||29½ in||8 ft 6 in||18 reps||29|
|20-ss and 3-cone from Tennessee Pro Day, all others from NFL Combine|
Ayers was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the second one of their two first round picks at 18th overall of the 2009 NFL Draft. On August 4, 2009, Ayers signed a five-year contract with $9.7 million guaranteed. In his rookie season he recorded 19 tackles and no sacks. He recorded his first professional sack in week 1 of the 2010 season against David Garrard of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ayers' second season was a bit of a disappointment to fans who were hoping for high production from the former first-round draft selection. In 2010, Ayers started in ten games as an outside linebacker and recorded 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
During the 2011 offseason, Ayers and rookie linebacker Nate Irving swapped jersey numbers (giving Ayers No. 91 and Irving No. 56—Ayers' former number). After a brief legal dispute with Reebok, Ayers eventually got to wear No. 91, which was his college number. “Fifty-six was a nice number,” said Ayers, “but I kind of see this as a new beginning for me. We’ve got a new coaching staff, and I want to get back to my roots.”
With a new number and new position (moved from outside linebacker to defensive end, his more-natural position), Ayers was looking to improve in his third season. Starting in 13 games, Ayers recorded 39 tackles and 3.0 sacks (all career highs) while showing improvement against the run. Ayers spent time at defensive end in Denver's base 4-3 defense and rotated to defensive tackle in certain nickel defensive sets during the 2011 season.
Ayers began the 2012 season as a backup under new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
New York Giants
Ayers signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the New York Giants on April 2, 2014. He was placed on season ending injured reserve on December 2, 2014, after suffering a torn pectoral muscle. In 2015, Robert Ayers set a career record for sacks and led all Giants players in that category with 9.5 sacks despite missing 4 games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
On March 12, 2016, Ayers agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
|Year||Team||GP||COMB||TOTAL||AST||SACK||FF||FR||FR YDS||INT||IR YDS||AVG IR||LNG||TD||PD|
- GP: games played
- COMB: combined tackles
- TOTAL: total tackles
- AST: assisted tackles
- SACK: sacks
- FF: forced fumbles
- FR: fumble recoveries
- FR YDS: fumble return yards
- INT: interceptions
- IR YDS: interception return yards
- AVG IR: average interception return
- LNG: longest interception return
- TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
- PD: passes defensed
- Villanova, Patrick (January 28, 2014). "Super Bowl 2014: Jersey City's Robert Ayers relishes chance to return to former grammar school". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- "Robert Ayers". NFL Draft Scout.com. March 25, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
- Nawrocki, Nolan (April 21, 2009). "The Way We Hear It — draft edition". Pro Football Weeklywebsite. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
- "Ayers signs 5-year deal". ESPN.com. August 3, 2009. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- Giants sign Defensive End Robert Ayers
- Knoblauch, Austin (March 11, 2016). "Robert Ayers agrees to 3-year, $21M deal with Bucs". NFL.com. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
- "Robert Ayers Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 14 January 2014.