Clay Matthews has officially hit the NFL free agency market after being released by the Los Angeles Rams alongside Todd Gurley. While Gurley has already signed with the Atlanta Falcons, Matthews is still on the market. Could a return to the Green Bay Packers be in the cards for him?
Immediately following his release, fans and media members in Green Bay started speculating about the possibility. Last offseason, the Packers and Matthews split up and he played somewhere other than Green Bay for the first time in his career. It was reported that he was willing to return to the Packers, but they team decided to go in another direction.
Now, the Packers have a need that Matthews could fill. It isn’t what Matthews is used to doing, but he has had some experience with it in the past. That need would be an impact player at inside linebacker.
Christian Kirksey was signed early in free agency and will play a role for the Packers in 2020. However, bringing in Matthews would give Green Bay a two-headed monster at inside linebacker in Kirksey and Matthews.
Last season with the Rams, Clay Matthews showed that he still has some good football left in him. He racked up 37 tackles to go along with eight sacks, two forced fumbles, and three defended passes. The Packers wouldn’t be asking Matthews to rush the quarterback each and every down, but his skill-set would give them more options.
Mike Pettine’s defense thrives with hard-nosed players who can make athletic plays. Matthews has been the definition of athletic throughout his career. He may be 33 years old, but he would still be able to make plays from sideline to sideline and could blitz up the middle much better than Blake Martinez was able to last season.
Aaron Rodgers even seems to want the Packers to go out and bring Matthews home. He liked a tweet from ESPN’s Rob Demovsky about a potential return to Green Bay for Matthews.
Looks like his former QB surely agrees.
And don’t call me Shirley — or Bob. pic.twitter.com/IB4YJaA71G
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) March 19, 2020
Bringing Matthews back to Green Bay just seems right. He has always belonged with the Packers and fans miss him. Matthews would be welcomed back with open arms and could be a big part of the improving defense.
Matthews would come in and play alongside Preston and Za’Darius Smith. They would be the primary pass rushers, but can you imagine situations where both Smith’s and Matthews are all rushing the quarterback? Opposing offensive lines would have nightmares about that scenario.
Brian Gutekunst has been very quiet so far this offseason. He hasn’t made a splash yet. While Matthews wouldn’t be considered a “splash” by the rest of the NFL, the Packers’ fan base would certainly view it as such.
Expect to hear more rumors about Matthews and the Packers. It may not end up happening, but having a playmaker like Matthews at inside linebacker would make a ton of sense for Green Bay to consider.