SUNDAY: Although Gutekunst did send the Texans a draft pick for Cobb, he is not moving on a Matthews reunion. The fourth-year Green Bay GM said he and his staff have not discussed bringing back Matthews, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
SATURDAY: While personnel suggestions from players on social media generally do not carry too much weight, the Packers have already acted on one of their starting quarterback’s requests since his return. Aaron Rodgers may be advocating for another of his high-profile ex-teammates to be brought back.
Already successfully pushing the Packers to reacquire Randall Cobb, Rodgers followed Cobb and David Bakhtiari in voicing Instagram support (h/t Bleacher Report) for the team to re-sign Clay Matthews.
During his lengthy press conference explaining some of his issues with the Packers, Rodgers discussed the team’s past decisions to let certain standouts walk. Cobb and Matthews came up in one expansive response. The Packers traded for Cobb soon after. While Cobb is back in Wisconsin after two years in Texas, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the Packers are not believed to be interested in re-signing Matthews.
Green Bay let Matthews walk after the 2018 season, and he signed with the Rams. The Packers’ five-year, $66MM extension for Matthews delivered mixed results. While the 2013 deal did precede Matthews making his fifth and sixth Pro Bowls, those honors came in 2014 and ’15. The former first-round pick’s production declined in the years that followed. In 2018, Matthews recorded just 3.5 sacks and 12 QB hits in 16 games. Green Bay moved on from Matthews and edge-rushing mate Nick Perry, with GM Brian Gutekunst adding Za’Darius and Preston Smith in free agency. That outside linebacker changeover has worked out well for the team.
Matthews, 35, did not play last season. After the Rams cut bait on his two-year deal, he turned down an offer from the Broncos and sat out the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Matthews did provide a spark to the 2019 Rams, recording eight sacks and two forced fumbles in 13 games. He missed three games that season with a broken jaw.
The Packers still roster both outside linebacker Smiths and have 2019 first-rounder Rashan Gary at that spot, giving the team one of the league’s top pass-rushing stables. Matthews has not been connected to a team since the Broncos offer, which came shortly after Von Miller‘s season-ending injury last September.