Nathan D. Clements (born December 12, 1979) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Ohio State. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills 21st overall in the 2001 NFL Draft, and also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals.
Clements was born to Nathan Clements, Sr. and Emma Clements in Shaker Heights, Ohio and graduated from Shaker Heights High School. Nate's father was strict and did not allow Nate to date while in high school. Clements excelled at both defensive back and quarterback and was named an All-American by USA Today, Blue Chip Illustrated and Super Prep.
Clements was also named first team All-Ohio during a season in which he had seven interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He also returned two kicks for touchdowns. Clements led the Raiders to a playoff berth in 1997 and led them past a Euclid Panther team that featured Notre Dame back Tony Fisher. Clements also holds the Shaker record for career interceptions with 14. The school retired his number 20 jersey in 2005.
Clements attended Ohio State University. Clements started 24 of 36 games and recorded 177 career tackles and seven interceptions. As a junior, he intercepted four passes and racked up 470 yards returning punts, with an average of 13.1 yards per return. In 2000 He was an All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice. After his junior year Clements decided to forgo his senior season and declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft. He majored in general studies.
Clements was drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 21st pick of the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Clements played for the Bills from 2001 to 2006 and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2004.
Nate recorded his first career interception and touchdown against Peyton Manning and the Colts on 9/23/2001.
In 2002, Clements set a career high with 6 interceptions, including 3 against Miami in Week 7, one of which was returned for a TD. Clements was named Defensive Player of the Week.
Clements earned his first Pro-Bowl trip in 2004, after tying his career high in Ints with 6.
He finished his career with the team starting 91 of 96 games, recording 432 tackles, 13 forced fumbles and 23 interceptions.
San Francisco 49ers
On March 2, 2007 Clements became the highest paid defensive player in NFL history after signing an eight-year, $80 million with $22 million guaranteed deal with the San Francisco 49ers. The contract has since been topped by Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with $41 million guaranteed with the Washington Redskins on February 27, 2009. It has been most recently topped by Mario Williams who signed a 6-year $100 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. Clement's streak of playing in 119 straight games was snapped in 2008, when he was inactive against the New York Jets. On September 27, 2009, Clements joined Kevin Ross as the only players in NFL history to return a blocked field goal for a touchdown twice. On November 1, 2009, Clements suffered a right shoulder injury against the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter and forced to leave the game. Reports indicate that he suffered a fractured right scapula. He was placed on the IR and missed the remainder of the 2009 season.
He was released on July 28, 2011.
Clements signed a 2-year contract worth $10.5 million and $6 million guaranteed with the Cincinnati Bengals on July 30, 2011.
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