Packers lock up Clay Matthews with five-year extension
UPDATE: Matthews' extension is worth $66 million ($13.2 million annually), according to Packers beat writer Tom Silverstein.
"Trivial amongst the recent tragic news, but happy to continue my career in Green Bay!" Matthews said via Twitter on Wednesday. The tweet was accompanied by the picture to the right.
The Packers obviously wanted their best defensive player back on a long-term deal, and Matthews had no reason to leave one of sports' most historic, recently successful franchises. A contract extension was pretty much inevitable.
The top outside linebacker on the market this offseason was Paul Kruger, who received a five-year deal from the Browns worth about $8 million annually, so Matthews did very well for himself relative to the market.
Matthews has registered 42.5 sacks in 58 career games, along with seven forced fumbles, 22 passes defended, and two defensive touchdowns. He has made the Pro Bowl each of his four seasons in the league, and was the only Packer with more than 4.5 sacks last season (13.0). Even when he's not taking down the quarterback, Matthews is a game changer due to the attention he requires from opposing offenses. He's well worth the money, and should continue his great success in Green Bay, especially if the Packers can find a defensive end who can collapse the pocket and take attention away from Matthews.
Now that the Matthews extension is out of the way, the Packers will turn their focus to locking up quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If you thought that Matthews' contract was lucrative, just wait until you see the money that Rodgers will make. Rodgers is widely expected to receive the biggest contract in NFL history - some say it will be worth upwards of $25 million per season.