The Green Bay Packers have built a championship caliber team through the draft and are making a point to re-sign some of these top notch players. This offseason, General Manager Ted Thompson made it a priority to get new contracts for linebacker Clay Matthews and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. While Rodgers is still not re-signed, Matthews has just signed a long-term extension that should make him a Packer for life or close to it.
The contract is expected to give Matthews at least $13 million a year, but he is worth every penny. Since 2009, Matthews has had the fifth most sacks (42.5) all while playing in less games than the four players in front of him. Matthews had one year left on his rookie contract and was supposed to make $3.77 million, but the Packers didn’t want to get any closer to free agency and risk losing their star linebacker.
Matthews is obviously known for his great pass-rushing ability, but he is also a force at stopping the run. During the four games Matthews missed last season, the Packers allowed an average of 5.5 yards per carry. During his first two games back from injury, that number went down to 3.38. In fact, Matthews has only missed 17 tackles in the past four seasons which is an incredible number. His quickness and strength make him excellent at tackling, and he has great form at bringing runners down.
The Packers’ defense has struggled the past two years, but Matthews remains the one constant for them. With his status with the team now in the rear view mirror, Matthews can focus primarily on helping the Packers get a second championship this decade.
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