Linebacker first to sign extension with Rodgers expected to follow.
Linebacker Clay Matthews has signed an extension with the Green Bay Packers, with sources suggesting he has put pen to paper on a five-year deal worth $66m according to NFL.com.
Terms of the extension have yet to be disclosed by the franchise, but there are widespread reports suggesting that the new deal includes $31m guaranteed, as Matthews is expected to receive $22m by the end of 2013 and $27 in the 12 months thereafter.
The deal would make him the highest paid linebacker in the NFL, and there is speculation that quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not far behind in signing a new deal which would make the highest paid player in the league.
The 26-year-old has 42.5 sacks in his four seasons with the Packers, including 13.5 during Green Bay’s Super Bowl campaign in 2010. He has 204 tackles, seven forced fumbles and four interceptions in 58 career games since being drafted out of USC as the Packers’ first-round draft pick in 2009.
“It feels good. It’s funny, because not a whole lot has changed. I’m happy about it, but for me, it’s nice, it’s very humbling and it’s a blessing, but it’s business as usual for me,” he told the media as reported by ESPN.
“I’m glad that they have put their trust in me and belief in me in awarding me this, but at the same time you’re going to get the same type of unwavering perserverance on the field and dedication that I’m going to bring day in and day out. I feel good but not much has changed,” he added.
The next port of call for the Packers will now be tying up an extension with Rodgers, while Matthews doesn’t believe that the franchise will be financially hamstrung as a result of their big money deals with current players.
With a history of building through the draft and developing players, Green Bay will hope to build around their two superstars on both sides of the ball having now tied down Matthews, with Rodgers not far behind.