You know the old saying, ‘defense wins games’. Well, Atlanta is more so in need of a strong starting inside linebacker right now after losing De’Vondre Campbell to the Cardinals.
Matthews is mainly an outside linebacker but has experience inside as well and has proven to be very versatile in his role on defense.
Matthews turns 34 in May and has a lot of experience with the league. He’d be an affordable asset to add to the Falcons’ roster and fill the linebacker void.
Formally Known As ‘The Claymaker’
His single season as a Ram, Matthews started 13 games at linebacker. He recorded 51 tackles, 10 sacks, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, and seven pass deflections.
Matthews has spent most of his career in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers where he earned the nickname ‘Claymaker’ after dominating early in his career as a playmaker. The Packers selected him with the No. 26 overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Throughout his NFL career, Matthews has tallied 519 tackles, 91.5 sacks, six interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, and three defensive touchdowns. He is a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro and owns a Super Bowl ring after helping the Packers defeat the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
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Runs in the Family
Clay Matthews is actually Clay Matthews III. The Los Angeles native is the son of Clay Matthews Jr. and the grandson of Clay Matthews.
The original Matthews was an offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers. As for Matthews Jr., he played 16 seasons at linebacker with the Cleveland Browns and finished his last three years in Atlanta with the Falcons.
The oldest child of Matthews Jr. and sister to Clay Matthews III, Jennifer Matthews is an NFL reporter. Football runs deep in the bloodline.
It would be a nice father-son ending. Each giving their final years, hanging up the game in Atlanta.
Of course with the tight salary cap space, the Falcons have to consider anything and everything to save all the money they can.
Last season, Matthews signed a 2-year deal worth up to $16.75 million with the Rams. He was due to a cap hit of $5.5 million for the upcoming 2020 NFL season.
However, after being released by the Rams and being ‘over the hill’ his price tag will go down a bit. The Falcons could get away with somewhere between the range of $4.5 to $5 million guaranteed on a one-year deal. This would still give the Falcons enough cap (I’d hope) to spend on their need for a running back (Todd Gurley) and a first-round NFL draft pick which is hopefully a cornerback.
Wherever Matthews ends up next will be the end of his career and Atlanta will be sure to welcome him with open arms.