Clay Matthews’ Ties to Giants Make for Intriguing Fit

Clay Matthews' ties to Giants coaching staff makes for intriguing fit

Getty Clay Matthews, formerly of the Green Bay Packers & LA Rams

Clay Matthews is still waiting on his money from the Los Angeles Rams. However, maybe a contract with the pass-rush-needy New York Giants could help fill the former PFWA NFL Defensive Player of the Year’s pockets in the meantime.

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Matthews Played Under Giants D-Coordinator in Green Bay

Big Blue’s search for a new voice to help catapult their defense out of the depths of mediocrity took them to the 305 this offseason. It was there where the Giants zeroed in on Patrick Graham as the man for the job, hiring the ex-Dolphins defensive coordinator to the same role in Joe Judge’s newly crafted coaching staff.

Prior to Graham’s stint in Miami, he served as the linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers for one season, back in 2018. That’s where Graham’s connections to Matthews come into play.

While Graham’s exact title with the Packers was defensive run game/inside linebackers coach, Matthews did spend the latter part of his Green Bay years moonlighting as an insider backer as well as working on the outside.

Matthews started all 16 games that season for the Packers, his final year with the organization, as well as Graham’s.

Giants Have Targeted Ex-Packer LBs this Offseason

Matthews would likely have no issues fitting in the Giants’ linebacker room should New York reunite the former Packers star with Graham.

Matthews would become the third ex-Green Bay linebacker that the Giants have added to their defense this season. That list, of course, includes the likes of Kyler Fackrell and Blake Martinez, each of whom played alongside Matthews over their Packers tenures.

Matthews Can Still Produce at a High Level

Will Matthews ever regain his All-Pro form from the early 2000s? Likely not. However, don’t let the fact that he turned 34-years-old earlier this month deter you from the fact that he’s still got a lot of juice left in the tank.

Matthews’ lone season in Los Angeles this past year was unfortunately limited to just 13 games due to a broken jaw. However, Matthews made the most of his opportunity during his pro-rated season. The edge-defender finished 2019 with eight sacks and 11 QB hits in 13 starts with the Rams.

Should Matthews sign with the Giants, he would likely not be asked to play extensive snaps, in fact, he may not even be asked to start.

New York’s front office has made it abundantly clear that they’d like to see what they have in their youngsters on the edge. This is why the team opted against targeting big-name free agents such as Jadeveon Clowney on the open market.

Oshane Ximines, Lorenzo Carter, and free-agent signee Kyler Fackrell will likely do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to New York’s pass-rush in 2020.

There is also the chance that Big Blue’s sack leader from a season ago, Markus Golden, returns under the UFA Tender. However, chances are if he has his way, he’d likely opt to sign elsewhere.

In Matthews, the Giants would be getting a proven commodity, with ties to not only the coaching staff and scheme but also the roster. Most importantly, Matthews would serve as a veteran presence along a Giants edge-rusher group who, aside from Fackrell, are all under the age of 25.