We know a lot of people are frustrated with Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
He’s missed four games, including the last three in a row, with a hamstring injury. It also seems like that whenever Matthews is injured, it’s his damn hamstring.
Clay Matthews has the hamstrings of a prepubescent girl. Actually, they’re probably not even that good.
Anyway, frustration reigns.
Last week, former Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley let some of that frustration out.
Matthews got paid & then stop being hungry. https://t.co/CjdkcLPSmL
He's getting paid 70M. At this point he could tell the coaches what to do. If he really wanted to play he would be out there. https://t.co/nVgXM5h5dU
We’ve certainly had our problems with Matthews. We’ll never forget when he pulled himself from the 2014 NFC Championship game.
Is he dogging it this year?
We couldn’t tell you.
There’s certainly something to be said for playing through pain. A lot of guys do it in the NFL. Matthews doesn’t appear to be one of them, but we can’t tell you how bad he’s currently hurt.
Saying you want to play, actually being able to play effectively and being cleared to play are three very different things.
We would agree with one thing, though.
Matthews hasn’t lived up to his huge contract. The guy’s average salary is $13.2 million per season. His cap hit has been rising each year since he signed his deal in 2013. It will reach a high of $15.2 million in 2017 and he still has another year on his deal after that.
Meanwhile, Matthews’ season high in sacks is still the 13.5 he put up in 2010. He’s only had double digits in that category twice since.
For what the Packers are paying Matthews, they should be getting 15-sack seasons every year.
That isn’t to say Matthews isn’t valuable to the defense. We’ve all seen the lack of pass rush they’ve generated while he’s been out the past three games. We’ve seen him save the defense by playing inside linebacker.
But again, valuable to the defense and worth $13 million a year are two different things.
Unfortunately for the Packers, Matthews isn’t alone in not living up to his contract. More on that at another time, though.
The good news is Matthews returned to practice on Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis.