Rams To Sign OLB Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews will be returning to southern California. The USC product and longtime Packer linebacker will sign with the Rams, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Via some uniform art, Matthews confirmed his decision (on Twitter).

The Rams and Matthews agreed on a two-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This deal will max out at $16.75MM, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). While it’s unlikely Matthews’ base salary surpasses $8MM, Ian Rapoport notes he was one of the Rams’ top free agency targets (Twitter link). With one of the linebacker’s homes located within minutes of the Rams’ training facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif., this seems like a convenient landing for the free agent sack artist.

More lucrative offers came Matthews’ way, per Garafolo, who adds staying close to home was a priority for the 11th-year linebacker. After entering last season with significant issues at outside linebacker, the Rams now have Matthews and Dante Fowler early in this offseason.

Matthews finished last season with a career-low 3.5 sacks. He saw his Packers job essentially given to younger pass rushers, with Green Bay replacing its Matthews-Nick Perry setup and going with a Preston SmithZa’Darius Smith combination. Rams rumors emerged last week, and the soon-to-be 33-year-old edge rusher is set to be a key part of Los Angeles’ pass rush.

The former USC Trojan and L.A.-area high school standout went on to record 83.5 sacks with the Packers, en route to six Pro Bowls. While those honors came between 2009-15, the Packers’ all-time sack leader working as a pass-rush specialist in L.A. would be interesting. Matthews, who collected a Super Bowl ring eight years ago, follows Eric Weddle to the defending NFC champions’ defense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 comments on “Rams To Sign OLB Clay Matthews

          • crosseyedlemon

            I’m still bothered by how the Browns organization behaved when Art Modell passed away. That was an opportunity to heal some deep wounds but they fumbled it away.

  1. connfyoozed

    He hasn’t been the same player but man, this is a good landing spot for him. Playing behind that fantastic defensive line is going to help offset whatever pass rush ability he might have lost the last couple of years simply because there are other guys the offense has to worry about blocking.

  2. BoSoxWin

    Very similar to Chris Long signing with New England then Philly. Matthews will have a great year in L.A. as a situational pass rusher. Won’t be surprised to see him get double digit sacks again. Happy for him!

  3. mattcubs

    Despite his decline in GB over the last few years, I love that he NEVER stops. Even when he seems like he’s out of the play, he’s still pursuing.

    • jeremytk42

      Agreed…As a lifelong Seahawk fan, I hate to see him in LA but I’ve always liked him a lot. Dude just don’t quit…

  4. sidewinder11

    Bad day for Packers fans. Regardless of recent performance, it’ll be weird to see Cobb and Matthews playing outside of titletown next year

    • lucienbel

      It’s certainly a very strange day or so. Clay Matthews was my favorite player on this team, as I like defense. When he was on, he was a monster. As others have said, even in his decline, he finished every play and gave it his all. Also agree it’ll be strange to not see Cobb out there. Hard to think of the team without these two and Jordy. But I suppose it’s a step into the future.

    • afsooner02

      Nah….not a bad day. It’s much like the favre situation. There will never…ever…be a player bigger than the organization. Eventually they move on. Wish them luck, but the packers needed to get younger at both positions

  5. twentyforty

    13 million to Cobb and Matthews…two guys who haven’t been able to run in three years. Comically insane by Dallas and LA.

    • dray16

      Matthews played on a horrible defensive unit in GB, he’ll be a solid addition in LA.

  6. crosseyedlemon

    The Bears/Packers rivalry became a great one because of players like Clay Matthews. The guy always gave his best for Packer fans and he brought out the best in our players. Wish him the best with the Rams.

  7. wettle

    He’s probably a bit better than average now, but with a D like the Rams have with those guys up front, he could actually look like the old Clay. A lot of effort but the results just weren’t there for the Packers. His stats may have been better if the Packers had better players throughout the Defense.

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