The NFL offseason has been filled with some big money contract deals and extensions for players around the league, including Joe Flacco and Tony Romo, and now Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews has joined the club, signing a new five-year extension with the franchise.
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According to ESPN.com, Matthews signed a new five-year extension with the team on Wednesday and while the financial numbers were not released by the Packers, sources said that the deal will be worth up to $65 million. The report says that the deal has over $30 million in guarantees and Fox Sports originally reported on the deal.
The ESPN report says that Darren Rovell spoke to sources that said the Matthews deal will net the linebacker $22 million in 2013, with over $25 million coming over the next 12 calendar months. Matthews tweeted out a picture of himself signing the contract on social media and it was later announced by the team.
Matthews has been one of the most important players on defense for the Packers since being drafted in the first round as the 26th pick in 2009 and he has amassed over 40 sacks during his career with the team, including 13 last year and 19 over the past two seasons. He has recorded 204 tackles and four interceptions during his four-year career and seven forced fumbles while playing 58 games.
Matthews deal came as the team is also working on one for Aaron Rodgers, who is expected to make more money than any player in NFL history when he signs his deal. Matthews said that he feels the Packers can still be competitive despite having two large deals on the roster, citing the work of the front office in building the roster through smart signings and the draft.
Another team that may be affected by the deal is the Denver Broncos, as they have the best young (and possibly best) linebacker in the league in Von Miller, who might end up getting paid even more. Miller already has 30 sacks over his first two seasons and is considered to be one of the best defensive players in the league.
Matthews later wrote on Twitter: "Trivial amongst the recent tragic news, but happy to continue my career in Green Bay!"