Packers: Three Contracts to Gain More Salary Cap Space
1. Clay Matthews
If you want to talk about horrible contracts, here you go. This is, without a doubt, the worst contract on the Packers’ books right now. Thompson gave Matthews a five-year, $66 million extension in 2013. Since then, he’s put up double-digit sacks just once (11 in 2014).
When not playing inside linebacker (2014 and 2015), Matthews has been an injury-risk. He missed four games in 2012, five in 2013 and four in 2016. Last season was his worst season on record. Matthews set career lows in tackles (24) and sacks (five). To say the production doesn’t warrant the deal would be an understatement.
If the Packers chose to do so, they could be rid of this problem. Matthews has two seasons left on his contract, but it is tenable for the Packers to dump him now. Matthews has a $15 million cap number. He’s worth $4.1 million in dead money.
If the Packers dropped Matthews, they’d net more than $10 million in cap space.
Do we view this as a realistic scenario? Not particularly, simply because the Packers lack playmakers on defense. If and when Matthews is healthy, he can still provide that ability. The problem is, he isn’t providing it nearly enough. Certainly not enough to justify this contract.
Matthews is 30 and now looks like he’ll never reach the promise we saw early in his career. A renegotiation is in order.