Clay Matthews Deal Is Good Business for Green Bay Packers

Clay Matthews signs five-year contract extension with Packers

Clay Matthews

You need to have both to win championships, and if you get one as good as Matthews, you have to keep him, no matter what the cost. Like any general manager, Thompson has made some good decisions and some bad ones. The decision to trade up and draft Matthews with the 26th pick of the 2009 NFL Draft was one of his finest (just behind taking a free-falling quarterback from Cal back in 2005), and so was signing him to a contract extension. Regardless of what people want to say about the Packers defenseand trust me, a lot has been said and not much of it good this offseasonas long as Matthews is on it, the potential to wreak havoc and turn it into a championship-caliber defense exists. As important as Aaron Rodgers is to Green Bay offensively, Matthews is equally important to the defense. Last season in the four games he missed, the defense allowed 5.5 yards per carry. When he returned, that average dipped back down to 3.38 yards per carry. Coincidence? I think not.

Clay Matthews Contract Extension: Packers Sign Pro Bowl Linebacker To New Deal

5 in the NFL over that span, and has finished in the top five in the league in sacks two of the last three seasons (13.5 in 2010, 13 in 2012). Matthews ranks No. 5 in team history (since 1982) with the 42.5 career sacks and No. 2 in franchise postseason annals with 7.5 career sacks. He has registered three 10-sack seasons (No. 3 in team history) and two or more sacks in nine games (No. 5 in franchise history). Clay Matthews Congratulations to Clay, who has quickly developed into a core member of our team, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday. His accomplishments and the example he sets on and off the field will be vital to our continued success. We look forward to the rest of his Packers career. Matthews has played in 58 games during his four seasons in the league with 55 starts and has recorded 270 tackles (191 solo), four interceptions (two TD returns), 23 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries (one returned for a TD).

Top Fantasy QBs for 2013

ESPN reports the team is closing in on locking up outside linebacker Clay Matthews with a new contract that is expected to pay him more than $13 million a season. At the same time, the Packers are still looking to take care of quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the long term. Rodgers is expected to get somewhere near $24 million a season. Clay Matthews could haul in more than $13 million per season with his reported new contract. (AP Photo) Unlike Rodgers however, whose current deal expires in 2015, Matthews would become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. While there’s a greater priority on getting a deal done for their franchise passer, Matthews isn’t far behind as one of the league’s most irreplaceable edge pass rushers. At 26, Matthews has played four exceptional seasons as a 2009 first-rounder and has plenty left in the tank with his high-motor, highly-productive play. When he’s not getting to opposing quarterbacks (42 career sacks), Matthews has been a most disruptive force elsewhere on the field. While Rodgers already has enjoyed one extension that was set to pay him $9.25 million for 2013, in comparison, Matthews is a short-term bargain, due $3.73 million for this season. The Packers let wide receiver Greg Jennings in free agency because they couldn’t afford to give him the $9 million annually the Minnesota Vikings did and still give both Matthews and Rodgers what they want (and deserve).

Clay Matthews reportedly close to big-money deal with Packers

I know we catch a little heat sometimes that we like to build through the draft and develop our players and we’ve done a great job of that,” Matthews said. “Our free agents are the ones who were up on their contracts. It’s no different than Aaron, myself or whoever’s up next. I’ll leave that to them, but for the most part we’ve had some success here over the last few years in maintaining keep players and I don’t see it to be any different.” Matthews was set to earn a base of $3.73 million this season in the final year of his rookie deal, signed after the Packers made him the 26th pick in the 2009 draft. But the 26-year-old’s price tag has gone up considerably as he has become one of the top linebackers in the NFL. He had 42 sacks in his first four seasons, fifth-best in the NFL during that span. He has finished in the top five in the league in sacks in two of the last three seasons, with 13 in 2010 and 13 in 2012. He was fourth in the NFL in sacks last season after missing four games with a hamstring injury. Matthews has three 10-sack seasons, third-best in Packers history, and nine games with two or more sacks. The son of Clay Matthews Jr., who played linebacker for 19 NFL seasons in Cleveland and Atlanta, and nephew of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, Matthews is the only player in Packers history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. Matthews also has four interceptions in 58 games, including two that were returned for touchdowns.

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