Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews talks to reporters in
the team's locker room after signing his new contract on
Wednesday April 17, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers
locked up star linebacker Matthews with a long-term
extension Wednesday, and also are negotiating with
quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
GREEN BAY — One
big deal done for the Green Bay Packers, one to go.
locked up star linebacker Clay Matthews with a long-term extension
Wednesday, and also is negotiating with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
good," Matthews said Wednesday during a news conference
inside the Packers' locker room. "It's funny, because not a
whole lot has changed. I'm happy about it but for me, it's nice,
it's very humbling and it's a blessing, but it's business as usual
for me. I'm glad that they have put their trust in me and belief
in me in awarding me this, but at the same time you're going to
get the same type of unwavering perseverance on the field and
dedication that I'm going to bring day in and day out. I feel good
but not much has changed.
Matthews posted a
picture of himself on Twitter signing the deal, saying,
"Trivial amongst the recent tragic news, but happy to
continue my career in Green Bay!"
The Packers did
not announce terms of the extension, reported to be for five
years, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the deal is worth
$66 million. That would put Matthews on par with Dallas outside
linebacker DeMarcus Ware, whose contract also averages $13 million
been a productive member of our team and we are pleased to be able
to come to an agreement that will extend his Packers career,"
general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement.
deal done, the Packers can turn all of their attention to Rodgers,
whose extension is expected to make him the highest-paid player in
the league. Agent David Dunn represents Matthews and Rodgers, as
well as defensive tackle B.J. Raji.
that's the next order of business," Matthews said about
Rodgers' extension. "Being good friends with him, represented
by the same agent, who knows, hopefully that's sooner than
Matthews said he
didn't think the team would be hamstrung by big contracts for its
two biggest stars, and that the team's draft-and-develop
philosophy would keep it competitive.
this organization does well. 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 42½ 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 13½ in
2010 and 13 in 2012.
He was fourth in
the NFL in sacks last season after missing four games with a
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. He's forced seven fumbles and recovered three, one
of which was returned for a score.
to Clay, who has quickly developed into a core member of our
team," coach Mike McCarthy said. "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
So does Matthews,
who will take on a greater leadership role following the Feb. 15
release of eight-time Pro Bowl defensive back Charles Woodson.
loss to some of those key defensive players, especially with
Charles (Woodson) on the defensive side and with them putting a
new contract in place for me, it definitely shows their belief in
me in being a leader and kind of a stalwart in this defense,"
Matthews said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I've
continued to lead through my short time here and I look to
continue that leadership position. Who knows what that entails but
I'm looking forward to it."
GM Thompson, Packers head
into draft with 8 picks
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers have
eight picks in next week's NFL draft and some obvious needs even
after two straight NFC North titles.
The Packers could use more talent on the offensive line, despite
using their 2010 (Bryan Bulaga) and 2011 (Derek Sherrod)
first-round draft picks on offensive tackles. And despite
drafting Clay Matthews in 2009 and Nick Perry last year, the
Packers have only three outside linebackers currently on the
Green Bay also lost three-time Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins and
wide receiver Greg Jennings.
General manager Ted Thompson has drafted a true running back
only four times in eight drafts, but this could be the year he
does so again.