Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said toward the end of the season that he wasn’t concerned about his future. Apparently, he should be.
Demovsky says the Packers and new general manager Brian Gutekunst may ask Matthews to restructure his deal.
That would make plenty of sense for the Packers. Matthews has a salary cap number of more than $11 million in 2018. There is no dead cap money attached to that. If the Packers were to release Matthews, they would free up all of that money.
Would the Packers make such a move? I can’t see an outright release, but certainly a restructuring could be in order. Matthews is still the sixth-highest paid linebacker in the NFL, based on average salary. His production and injury history don’t particularly merit that anymore.
Matthews had 43 tackles, 7.5 sacks and one forced fumble in the 14 games he played in in 2017. The sack total was his highest since 2014, when he had 11. That isn’t to say Matthews played badly in 2017. He was, most of the time, the Packers’ only pass rush threat. He was graded out at 83.4 by Pro Football Focus, which is solid. However, that ranked him just 28th among edge defenders.
Another factor to consider is Matthews will be 32 in May. Considering his injury history, how much is he really worth at this point?
I’m just taking a stab here, but it would seem that Matthews could be willing to take a few million less per year if the Packers extended him until his age 35 season.
Take one for the team, Clay! We’re sure you can make it up doing commercials.