Anytime that an NFL team throws around upwards of $50M on one player it becomes frightening to the casual fan that said player might not be worth that much. Surely, the deal that the Green Bay Packers gave Clay Matthews was north of $50M, however I think it’s an extension that both side should feel good about.
Oftentimes, athletes contract’s get skewed when the conversation turns to guaranteed money, but those who are calling Matthews extension the richest by a defensive player in NFL history couldn’t be further from the truth. In 2009 the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a six year extension with the then 26-year-old outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware worth $79M. Ware has been a staple of consistency with the Cowboys, however to say that he is $10M better than Matthews would be foolish.
Matthews was still on his rookie contract prior to his five-year extension, so the five-year $66M deal that he agreed to earlier this weeks is compounded by the $3.73M he is due in 2013. In essence, the Packers got Matthews $10M cheaper than Ware and that was four years ago–safe to say that Jerry Jones isn’t too excited about this news.
Unfortunately, the Packers have bigger fish to fry than the captain of their defense.
Aaron Rodgers is the face of the franchise and unlike Matthews he does not have a contact for the 2013 season which means the Packers have to get their quarterback to the negotiation table sooner rather than later. If Green Bay is able to get Rodgers on the cheap and they do not have to give him the type of money that the Baltimore Ravens gave Joe Flacco then the organization should be in fantastic shape moving forward.