Packers GM doesn’t rule out re-signing Clay Matthews
Brian Gutenkunst’s inaugural year as the Green Bay Packers general manager didn’t really work out as well as he had planned.
The Packers finished with a losing record and missed the playoffs for the second-consecutive season in 2018, which forced his hand to move on from long-time head coach Mike McCarthy mid-season.
On January earlier this year, Matt LaFleur was appointed as Green Bay’s new head coach, marking just one of the many changes that Gutenkunst has in plan for the fabled franchise.
There have been some players on the Packers roster that have underperformed of late as well, particularly fan-favorite linebacker Clay Matthews. The 32-year-old standout had arguably his worst NFL outing last year, tallying a career-low 3.5 sacks despite playing all 16 regular-season games.
Milwaukee General Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein received word that Gutenkunst is still high on re-signing Matthews this upcoming season, but also had some reservations at doing so:
Gutekunst did not rule out signing OLB Clay Matthews. He said he's still a good player "and if he's not helping us, he'll be helping somebody else."
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) March 14, 2019
Matthews, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, has seen his productivity gradually wane since his last Pro Bowl berth in 2015.
The USC product’s long been considered the rock of the Packers’ defense. However, his decline has somewhat spread throughout the rest of Green Bay’s defense. Last season, the team’s D ranked 22nd points allowed and had the fourth-fewest turnovers forced with just a total of 15 takeaways.
If Gutenkunst is serious about turning the Packers around, major changes have to be made fast, even if it means losing a local icon in Matthews in the process.
Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Aaron Rodgers is losing time and patience himself, and he sure could use some significant changes on the other side of the ball. Unfortunately, that may mean having to part ways with his long-time friend in Matthews.