Clay Matthews is the defensive face of the Green Bay Packers. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, speculation began as soon as the season ended as to whether or not the franchise was going to be able to sign their star linebacker to an extension before he hit the free agent market at the end of the year.
On Wednesday, all that speculation was put to rest. According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Matthews inked a five-year extension worth “a bit north of $13 million per year”.
After being selected with the 26th-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Matthews has been a sack-machine for Green Bay. His 10 sacks as a rookie are a franchise record, and he became the first Packers rookie to earn a Pro Bowl selection since James Lofton did in 1978.
He set a career high with 13.5 sacks in his sophomore effort. After a down year in 2011 in which he only recorded six sacks, he ripped off another 13 in 2012 while being selected to his fourth straight Pro Bowl.
Both Matthews’ father, Clay Jr., and uncle, Bruce, played 19 seasons in the NFL apiece. While Matthews III has a long ways to go yet, this new contract will pay him enough that if he doesn’t want to play for 19 total, well, he doesn’t have to.
Trivial amongst the recent tragic news, but happy to continue my career in Green Bay! twitter.com/ClayMatthews52…
— Clay Matthews III (@ClayMatthews52) April 17, 2013