More on Bruce Irvin in that Von Miller/Clay Matthews hybrid role

Clay Matthews Contract Extension: Packers Sign Pro Bowl Linebacker To New Deal

So he’s a guy you want to rush. But in our scheme he does drop some. Let me give you an example, at SC we played with Clay Matthews at the exact same position. Clay was a primary rusher but he was a dropped as well at times, a situational dropper, and that’s exactly the role we’ll put him in here.” This was over a year ago, so the thought of Irvin playing more of a hybrid role is obviously not a new thing. At that time, John Schneider added, “He’s rare. This guy comes off the ball like Dwight Freeney and Von Miller and Jevon Kearse . It’s like that.” Both Carroll and Schneider noted then that he’s run a faster 40 than a 4.4. Carroll called him a “carbon copy” of Von Miller: “We almost could do an overlay from his college rushes. We didn’t compare that directly, we went back to him back in college, because they’re almost exactly the same size, same everything. What Von has done is he played more linebacker than our guy.” Asked to explain these comparisons more, Schneider answers “We were asked about what his get-off is like.

Clay Matthews reportedly close to big-money deal with Packers

(AP Photo) Matthews shared a photo of the deal being signed deal on Twitter (@ClayMatthews52). “Trivial amongst the recent tragic news, but happy to continue my career in Green Bay!” Matthews tweeted. “It feels good,” Matthews said Wednesday during a news conference. “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. 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 perseverance on the field and dedication that I’m going to bring day in and day out. I feel good but not much has changed.” Matthews, who turns just 27 in May, was worthy of being locked up for a lucrative reward. In just four seasons after being drafted 26th overall by the Packers in 2009, he has wreaked havoc as an edge playmaker in their 3-4 scheme, with 43 sacks, 203 total tackles and four interceptions in 58 career games. The 2013 season was scheduled to be the last under Matthews’ original five-year, $9.9 million deal. Under the old deal, he is scheduled to be paid $3.7 million in ’13.

ESPN reports the team is closing in on locking up outside linebacker Clay Matthews with a new contract that is expected to pay him more than $13 million a season. At the same time, the Packers are still looking to take care of quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the long term. Rodgers is expected to get somewhere near $24 million a season. Clay Matthews could haul in more than $13 million per season with his reported new contract. (AP Photo) Unlike Rodgers however, whose current deal expires in 2015, Matthews would become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. While there’s a greater priority on getting a deal done for their franchise passer, Matthews isn’t far behind as one of the league’s most irreplaceable edge pass rushers. At 26, Matthews has played four exceptional seasons as a 2009 first-rounder and has plenty left in the tank with his high-motor, highly-productive play. When he’s not getting to opposing quarterbacks (42 career sacks), Matthews has been a most disruptive force elsewhere on the field. While Rodgers already has enjoyed one extension that was set to pay him $9.25 million for 2013, in comparison, Matthews is a short-term bargain, due $3.73 million for this season. The Packers let wide receiver Greg Jennings in free agency because they couldn’t afford to give him the $9 million annually the Minnesota Vikings did and still give both Matthews and Rodgers what they want (and deserve).

Clay Matthews signs extension, becomes highest-paid linebacker

“One thing this organization does well. I know we catch a little heat sometimes that we like to build through the draft and develop our players and we’ve done a great job of that,” Matthews said. “Our free agents are the ones who were up on their contracts. It’s no different than Aaron, myself or whoever’s up next. I’ll leave that to them, but for the most part we’ve had some success here over the last few years in maintaining keep players and I don’t see it to be any different.” Matthews was set to earn a base of $3.73 million this season in the final year of his rookie deal, signed after the Packers made him the 26th pick in the 2009 draft. But the 26-year-old’s price tag has gone up considerably as he has become one of the top linebackers in the NFL. He had 42 sacks in his first four seasons, fifth-best in the NFL during that span. He has finished in the top five in the league in sacks in two of the last three seasons, with 13 in 2010 and 13 in 2012. He was fourth in the NFL in sacks last season after missing four games with a hamstring injury. Matthews has three 10-sack seasons, third-best in Packers history, and nine games with two or more sacks.

Clay Matthews, Packers agree on long-term extension

He was fourth in the NFL in sacks last season after missing four games with a hamstring injury. Matthews has three 10-sack seasons, third-best in Packers history, and nine games with two or more sacks. The son of Clay Matthews Jr., who played linebacker for 19 NFL seasons in Cleveland and Atlanta, and nephew of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews , Matthews is the only player in Packers history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. Matthews also has four interceptions in 58 games, including two that were returned for touchdowns. He’s forced seven fumbles and recovered three, one of which was returned for a score. “Congratulations to Clay, who has quickly developed into a core member of our team,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “His accomplishments and the example he sets on and off the field will be vital to our continued success. We look forward to the rest of his Packers career.” So does Matthews, who will take on a greater leadership role following the Feb. 15 release of eight-time Pro Bowl defensive back Charles Woodson .

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