Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
If you were to tell anybody in years past that Clay Matthews would be on a list like this, you would get called crazy. But as we sit here in the 2018 offseason, it isn’t as far fetched as most of you may perceive. As of late, Matthews hasn’t been the star player we’ve been accustomed to seeing over his tenure in Green Bay, and being scheduled to make over $15 million next season makes it a real possibility that the team cuts him. That move would wind up saving them $11 million, and that’s too much cap being spent on someone who just isn’t producing up to that figure.
Despite not being at the peak of his playing career, the former Trojan still has the ability to rush the passer and give any defense an instant spark. Over his nine-year career, Matthews has yet to accumulate less than five sacks in any given season, while reaching at least 10 sacks in four seasons. Joining veterans like Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, who are other proven players at the position, could create matchup problems across the board for opposing offensive lines. It also doesn’t hurt that Matthews is the kind of player that would get Mike Vrabel grinning from ear to ear.
Throughout his career, Matthews has lined up everywhere on the field, from an edge rusher to a middle linebacker leading the defense. No matter where the Packers lined him up, he was able to make an impact and fly to the football. Remember the whole ‘Front Multiplicity, Coverage Consistency’ bit from Vrabel’s introductory conference? Well, Matthews would not only fit that mantra, but would add an entirely new dynamic to it.