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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.


Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. nugs February 14, 2017

    signing Lacy would be a foolish mistake.

  2. Kato February 14, 2017

    Hard pass on Barclay. That guy can be found in the bottom of the draft or UDFA. Good luck getting Cobb and Matthews to restructure. The defense is in need of a rebuild, sure approach Matthews with a renegotiation/restructure, if he isnt on board, cut him. We don’t need to be overpaying players on possibly one of the 5 worst defenses in the NFL

  3. MJ February 14, 2017

    I still find it amazing that we are always close to the cap (though always on the correct side), whereas crappy team can make signing after signing. The fine line between “paying our own guys” and overpaying?

  4. stan February 14, 2017

    To win the Super Bowl will require a ” team effort “……every player has to be willing to restructure or compromise or they won’t be hoisting the Lombardi trophy.

    1. MJ February 14, 2017

      It’s a bit tricky. You have some guys getting their first shot (and maybe their only one) at a multi-million dollar contract. I would agree that guys that have been around for more contracts may get trophy hungry and accept a lower pay from a contender, but how many stay in the league that long? Occasionally I hear a veteran stating that he wants “to play for a contender”.

  5. PF4L February 14, 2017

    First of all….The Packers can’t ask Rodgers to restructure for lower cap #’s. They have no right to ask. When the Packers decide to use all resources, use all their cash, to field the best team they can. Then they can ask Rodgers to help.

    But until that time, if i’m Rodgers, i’d tell them to kick rocks.