Packers Usher in LaFleur Era but Will Clay Stay?

The Green Bay Packers went off the reservation and tapped former Rams’ and Titans’ offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur as their next head coach. At 39 years-old, Lafleur is the first Green Bay head coach under the age of 40 since Curley Lambeau took the reins nearly 100 years ago at age 23. LaFleur is the new breed of head coach, breaking the stereotype that only coaching retreads in their 50’s and 60’s can command an NFL team. Recent reports have LaFleur selecting former Jaguars OC Nathaniel Hackett as his offensive coordinator to begin next season.

Packers president Mark Murphy had this to say about the team’s new hire. "We went through the nine interviews and quite honestly no one really stood out. There were a lot of strong candidates but there wasn't one that just jumped out on us. Matt was our last candidate and we heard great things about Matt. So, we were real excited going into it."

Lafleur’s ascension up the ladder came from humble beginnings but at every stop, his former superiors raved about his ability to communicate and lead, particularly working as a quarterback’s coach. That unique qualification may have been the determining factor in the Packers hiring LaFleur, as Aaron Rodgers’ was essentially the driving force in getting his longtime head coach Mike McCarthy axed due to an irreparably fractured relationship. Some of the best online betting sites found over at Sportsbook Review, have not wavered in changing Green Bay’s odds for next season since LaFleur was hired. The jury is out as to whether this was a savvy hiring or an act of desperation to assuage the sensibilities of their star quarterback. We will have to wait until next season to find out.

In other Packers’ news, the question surrounding Clay Matthews future in Green Bay is uncertain, as the fixture at linebacker over the last 10 seasons will be 33-years-old when he returns to action in September. It’s a young man’s game and Matthews is no longer that nor is he the defensive game-changer of yesteryear. Matthews had his lowest sack total in his professional career last season with just 3 ½ which pales in comparison to the 13 ½ he totaled in his second season. But it’s not just a one-off, as his sack attack has been sagging along with his tackles over the past three seasons.

Matthews is far from done and can still be a viable defensive cog but a switch to inside linebacker might be preferable to his role as an edge rusher on passing downs. There is no doubt he is a fan favorite and one who should remain in a Packers’ uniform until he hangs up his cleats. But it will all come down to money and what Green Bay will pay, not only for what he will do but just as importantly, what he has done, for this franchise. There is no question it wouldn’t sit well with Packers’ fans if Matthews is allowed to walk and if his chosen destination is in the NFC North then don’t be surprised if Clay loses more than a few supporters in the stands at Lambeau.

Many of the premier online betting sites actually have player props on free agent destinations. The early word is that Matthews will come to terms for less money to stay home in Green Bay but there are other teams out there looking for a veteran presence both in the locker room and on the gridiron. Let’s hope that Matthews continues to thrill us for at least a few more years.

 

 

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Comments (70)

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CAG123's picture

January 19, 2019 at 01:30 am

I hope this new o-line coach is the real deal they passed up on one of the best so MLF can hire his old Washington Redskins buddy.

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Rak47's picture

January 19, 2019 at 03:24 am

I hope he is really good too, because it feels like a hire out of desperation. After all LaFluer did ask Shannahan to interview 3 of his assistants and he was turned down. So he goes back and asks again? It feels like Shannahan felt sorry for his friend and threw him a bone. I truly hope that's not the case though. Btw, One of the 3 assistants that Shannahan refused LaFluer to interview ended up taking the OC position with play calling duties in Denver.

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Coldworld's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:53 am

I wonder if it is a question of knowing LaFleur’s system.

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Lare's picture

January 19, 2019 at 05:54 am

"There is no doubt he is a fan favorite and one who should remain in a Packers’ uniform until he hangs up his cleats. But it will all come down to money and what Green Bay will pay, not only for what he will do but just as importantly, what he has done, for this franchise."

You don't win football games by paying players for what they have done in the past or just because they are fan favorites. Let's get some good football players on this team that can be effective and win games.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 19, 2019 at 07:44 am

With Russ Ball negotiating the contracts it's tough to call what the Packers will do with Matthews. Ball has quite the history of lowballing players so who knows what he does with Matthews. IMO Ball will do exactly what he did with Nelson and Lang for example.

With Jordy he embarrassed Nelson with the scrawny offer he made. Not only that he embarrassed the Packers. Other veterans watched the way Nelson was valued by Ball and IMO it wasn't a good look. He did a similar thing with TJ Lang. Now I'm not talking about what Lang was given by Detroit. I'm talking about the offer the Packers made to Lang where TJ really had NO CHOICE but to go. And God forbid you say a word...Just ask Josh Sitton what happens if you become vocal.

I'd love to see Matthews stay in GB, and I don't think it will take an absurd amount of money. But it WILL take just above the league minimum which could be what Ball offers based on his history.

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cuervo's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:18 am

Of course you're missing the part where the decision to not sign Sitton, Lang, or Nelson to another large contract was the correct decision in each case.

Letting go of players may hurt Fans feelings, but that in and of itself doesn't automatically make it a bad decision...ask Bellicheck.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

I also really doubt that Gute told Ball to negotiate a pay cut with Jordy down to $6M or $7M and Ball offered just $1.1M. The vitriol against Ball is mostly based on no evidence at all. [I suppose I would think that!]

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 19, 2019 at 01:32 pm

I think nelsons 750 yards and 3 TDs is worth closer to 1.1 mil than 7 mil. I will always love Jordy but they where right to move on.

Now it's time to do the same with Cobb, Perry and Matthews. I don't want any ILBs with Matthews athlete profile. Those guys need to be able to cover.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 19, 2019 at 07:08 pm

Of course you're ignoring the part of WHY did it have to get to to that point.... I'll tell you why...Thompson AND Balls inability to understand a career inst't over because they turned or are approaching 30.

Or are you one of those that actually think Taylor was as solid as sitton or the revolving door at RG replaced Lang?

IF they had just offered ANYTHING FAIR both of those players might have stayed. I'd much rather had given it a shot instead of showing every veteran in the NFL we don't give a damn what you've done OR you can still play better than ANY option we have on the roster...We're LOWBALLING you!

Sorry but this BS just pisses me off. Ball SHOULD have been gone with Thompson.

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cuervo's picture

January 19, 2019 at 07:41 pm

Well if that was the case, then the Patriots wouldn't have anyone ever wanting to sign with them, as they routinely get rid of vet players that still have gas in the tank.

Not signing all of those players to an extension was smart, you just don;t want to believe it.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

January 19, 2019 at 08:19 pm

Nick, have a Snickers.

Thank you,

Dash

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11Bravo1p's picture

January 19, 2019 at 11:34 pm

if I remember right, Green Bay made a good contract offer to Lang, about the same as what Seattle offered, but Detroit offered crazy money. Lang was one of my favorite players, but he was over 30 with an injury history. Lang played 13 games for Detroit in 2017 and 6 games in 2018. If he had taken the Packers offer, I think we would be blaming TT for overpaying and we would still be looking for a right guard for 2019

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Nick Perry's picture

January 20, 2019 at 01:33 am

Nope...Actually when FA was still about 10 days away there were articles suggesting Lang's agent hadn't even heard from GB for quite a while. Thompson made an offer, around $5 million plus but little guaranteed and just for one year. Obviously the HUGE contract Lang signed only worked out well for Lang and not the lions but that's not my point. My point is the Packers made little effort.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 20, 2019 at 04:29 am

I proposed dropping Jordy's pay from $10.2 to about $6M or $7M and playing Jordy in the slot (and boundary if necessary). Pick up $3 to $4M. Then cut Cobb to pick up $9.4M. We pick up about $13M in cap space that way, and I thought we'd be better on the field as well. I believe Jordy would have been productive in the slot, whether it is because AR loves him or I think it was possible that he'd have been really productive based on his own merits.

In the long expose on Ball a few years ago TT always gave Ball a range in which Ball was supposed to sign players. It couldn't have been $1.1M to $7M for Nelson, unless TT really did almost totally lose his grip towards the end. And Gute was GM by then. Maybe Ball has more power than I think he does. I never considered him as qualified to be a GM.

I had a pretty good rant when GB cut Sitton, mostly because they didn't get anything for him. Taylor was not too bad as a replacement, but he is probably about 70% of the player Sitton still was back then. I don't believe the rumor about Sitton and HHCD (just another reason I never liked HHCD - Randall wasn't his first alleged run-in with a teammate). Sitton got paid by Chicago and then by Miami, which did not need another Richie Incogvito situation.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 20, 2019 at 07:36 am

"Obviously the HUGE contract Lang signed only worked out well for Lang and not the lions but that's not my point. My point is the Packers made little effort."

As you indicated, the contract did not work out for the team that made a bigger effort. So making little effort was the correct call.

In fact, TT was rather notorious for being far less generous with guys on 3rd contracts than with guys on 2nd contracts. It is a philosophy that served the Packers well over the years, with far more hits than misses. I hope Gute continues to follow that philosophy.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 20, 2019 at 09:34 am

Lets you and I just agree to disagree anything Ted Thompson. IMO the man stayed several years to long and didn't do nearly enough push a few teams over the cusp to a SB appearance instead of a NFCCG appearance. His last 4, 5. or 6 drafts were pretty bad too, it all depended what level of bad you were taking it to.

"As you indicated, the contract did not work out for the team that made a bigger effort. So making little effort was the correct call."

How do you know his career goes the same way in Seattle or GB as it did in Detroit? You don't. Lang said on more than one occasion all he wanted was to be treated fairly by GB. He WANTED to stay and would have took less, GB wouldn't give him even a little more. BTW...He made the Pro-Bowl in 2017 and was injured in 2018...Just like Wilkerson, Daniels, Clark, King, and a slew of others.

I mean if we're guessing then how do we know Rodgers collarbone still gets crushed by Barr when the Packers were HOT and 4-1 IF Lang was still there...We don't, but I'd say the chances were considerably better he doesn't had Lang been there.

Now had Thompson signed the JC Tretter instead of letting him walk for $16,750,000 & $10,000,000 guaranteed then at least we'd had a proven Packers O-Linemen playing RG. One who fit the Thompson success story of 4th round linemen.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 20, 2019 at 10:44 am

Lang might have said he would have taken less to stay in GB but he didn't take less, if you believe widely known reports at the time. The Packers made Lang an offer @ $7 mil AAV as reported by Tom Silverstein. The Lions offer was @ $9.5 mil AAV with much higher guarantees.

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11Bravo1p's picture

January 20, 2019 at 01:24 pm

You are right that the Packers didn't offer Lang a deal during the season. However, they did offer Lang a contract averaging around $8M a year after the season. $8M was a pretty good offer considering Lang's injury history and age.

Detroit offered Lang a 3 year deal for 28.5M with $19.5M guaranteed. Lang wanted the Pack to match the offer and they declined. Lang played well in 2017, but only 6 games last year.

In hindsight, it was good that the Pack didn't match Detroit's offer.

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Ezra's Hotdog's picture

January 19, 2019 at 06:25 am

I agree. Moving him to the inside seems to be what fans suggest if the Packers decide to re-sign Clay. Can he cover tight ends or running backs better than the guys we already have there would be a question to ponder and at what price?

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Pack Fan Forever's picture

January 19, 2019 at 08:19 am

NP, I disagree that it will only take slightly above the veteran minimum to keep CM in Green Bay. In a league starved for edge rushing talent, even CM’s diminished abilities should attract an offer in the 4 to 6 Million per year range. I’d like to see him stay in Green Bay as well, but I don’t think you’re going to get him for the modest amount you have in mind.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 19, 2019 at 08:50 am

I think what he meant is not that CMIII would play for that amount.

I think he meant that Ball wouldnt go above that amount to keep him, so thats the number or he is gone.

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2019 at 11:39 am

Look at Connor Barwin: I think he's a pretty good comp for CMIII at this stage. When he left Philly, he got $6.5M on a one-year deal to play with Wade Phillips and the Rams...didn't do much. Then, he got 2 yr/3.5M from the Giants. I think you're right: CMIII will get more on a one year deal than a multi-year deal at this stage. Does he go for $$ or a little security?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 20, 2019 at 05:03 am

I know the lazy-ass reporters just kept repeating that Barwin's contract could "max out" at $6.5M, but really Barwin got a 1 year deal for $3.5M from the Rams. Yeah, he got $3M in incentives that had at best a non-zero chance of happening. I eventually read a story that indicated what Barwin would have to do to "max out" the contract. [I can't find it now.] Let's just say that Barwin would have been a tremendous value had he earned $6.5M because he'd have been worth twice that. I was pretty interested in Barwin so when I ran across the info, it made some slight impression. He earned the $3.5M his contract called for.

Barwin had:
5 sacks, 12 QB hits, 34 tackles, 7 TFLs, 61% of snaps.
CM3 had:
3.5 sacks, 12 QB hits, 43 tackles, 7 TFLs, 71% of snaps.

I'd be for giving CM3 a contract that "maxes out" at $6.5M that breaks down as $3.5M that he is going to actually get paid and $3M more that he can earn if he plays quite well.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 20, 2019 at 08:46 am

CM3 had 5.5 sacks the NFL referees took at least 2 of his away and penalized him for completely legal hits. They even admitted as much. Yet they still only credit CM3 with 3.5 sacks.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 22, 2019 at 05:05 am

Probably fair. I have no way to adjust: for all I know Barwin had multiple sacks taken away because an idiot teammate lined up in the neutral zone (see Dee Ford) or just because some other defensive penalty was called. I can usually adjust stats for Packers, but I can't adjust stats for players on teams I don't watch, so....

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Since'61's picture

January 19, 2019 at 08:43 am

We are at the point where do we keep CM3 a season too long or do we let him go a season early?

I’m with the let him go side on this one. At least wait until we see who is available in FA before we squander cap space on another aging veteran with little upside remaining. We were 6-9-1 with him we can be 6-9-1 without him. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Johnblood27's picture

January 19, 2019 at 08:53 am

Sad to see you are OK with 6-9-1 any way we go.

:-)

I hope that the coaching staff sees a way to utilize him effectively, either as a sub package guy or as a situational ILB, or they do the humane thing and just let him go so that players that do fit are on the roster.

Enough of dragging the chains of poor decisions past.

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Since'61's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:45 am

John - my point is that I am not OK with 6-9-1. My point is that we were bad with CM3 and that we can be just as bad without him. However, we have a better chance to improve by adding a better and younger player if we move on without him.

My line about being 6-9-1 with or without him is a paraphrase of a quote from Branch Rickey back in 1952. Rickey traded Ralph Kiner and other players from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Chicago Cubs as part of a 10 player trade. When Kiner asked Rickey why he was being traded Rickey replied; "We finished in last place with you, we can finish in last place without you". Rickey is basically saying we finished last with you so we may as well move on and see if we can do better without you. It's a very famous sports quote since Kiner went on to the MLB Hall of Fame. The difference is that Kiner was at the beginning of his career and CM3 is clearly nearing the end of his career.

I'm sorry that my post was not clear but I'm basically saying the same thing. We were 6-9-1 with CM3 so we may as well move on with a younger player and hopefully get better. I agree with you enough of the chains of the past, time to move on. Thanks, Since '61

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wildbill's picture

January 19, 2019 at 09:47 am

Not saying Clay is a difference maker anymore but we were 6-9-1 with Rodgers also, just saying. Thanks since ‘60

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Since'61's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:46 am

Wildbill - the difference is that we have already signed Rodgers to a long term deal. Also, Rodgers is still an effective QB and maybe still the best QB in the league if we put some actual NFL players around him besides Adams and Bak. A defense that can make a few stops and/or create a turnover or two would be nice as well.

While CM3 is becoming less and less effective with every down he is on the field. I'm not totally against keeping CM3 but I would not resign him until we see what FA and the draft yields in terms of improving our OLB group. Thanks, Since '61

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cuervo's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:21 am

"I hope that the coaching staff sees a way to utilize him effectively, either as a sub package guy or as a situational ILB"

That would be fine, but not for 5-7 million year.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 19, 2019 at 09:53 am

To paraphrase, the “let him go” side is aka the “chuck him” side; and
I’m on that side too.

I don’t think CM3 would take a big paycut from GB, and I also don’t think he wants to play more ILB.

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Since'61's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:46 am

Agree TK! Thanks, Since '61

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dblbogey's picture

January 19, 2019 at 11:17 am

I think we already kept Clay at least one season too long given his salary. I'm with the group who would like to keep him at around 3-4 million, play him inside more, give him 30-35 snaps game. He;s still a decent player but no longer a pass rusher.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

January 19, 2019 at 01:05 pm

Since 61' so what you are saying is you want to chuck Matthews correct? Chuck or no chuck?

Dash

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Samson's picture

January 19, 2019 at 09:11 am

The term "fan favorite" is one of the reasons GB finished 6-9-1 in season 2018. --- There are too many underperforming, overpaid players on this roster.

CM3 is a prime example. --- The time for change has already begun. --- Adios & thanks for the run. (CM3 will end up on the west coast somewhere in season 2019.)

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CoachJV's picture

January 19, 2019 at 09:41 am

I'm in the camp of keeping CM3 if he makes the move to ILB. I have always thought they should've kept him at ILB after that season and a half he served there.

He may be 33, but he can still keep up with a tight end over the middle and he's still a willing tackler. Plus, his understanding of the game could put him in a good position to be the QB of the defense.

I would say bring him back at $3M

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The TKstinator's picture

January 19, 2019 at 09:58 am

Do you think he’d accept such an offer from GB?
Only way I see that happening is if he tests the FA waters AND all other offers are in that same range. Problem is, it only takes ONE team to offer “crazy money” (heard of it, never personally received any) and if/when that happens, it’s adios 52.

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CoachJV's picture

January 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

I do think he'd take a 3 year $10M deal and stay in GB. I think he knows where he is at physically and that he can't get it done off the edge much anymore. Plus his family is happy in GB.

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2019 at 11:45 am

I'm 100% sure the Packers let him test the waters. I don't see them signing him ahead of free agency.

That said, I don't know what Pettine thinks of him and what Pettine might do with him IF he had enough edge depth that he COULD move him around on a consistent basis. Look at Martinez: Pettine got 5 sacks out of him in 2018. Who's to say what he could do with a CMIII in the middle on passing downs? I think CMIII is a better athlete, yet, than many give him credit for, but if you sign him and put him in the middle, who do you take off the field? Will you really be coming out ahead?

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CoachJV's picture

January 19, 2019 at 04:25 pm

I agree that they let him test the waters. But I think he will see the market isn't that big for his services anymore, or others will want him to move inside also.

I think in the end, he accepts a small deal with incentives and a move inside in Green Bay.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 20, 2019 at 10:42 am

If it turns out like that I have no problem with it.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:03 am

I would like the Packers to keep him. No really good football reason, I just like the guy and he has a lot of history with the team and seems like a fun guy. I don’t expect Ryan back and Clay could do well on the inside LB and fill in once in a while outside. I don’t think he will get many offers from other teams anyway. So why not?

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2019 at 11:46 am

Turned out the kicker really wasn't the problem.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 20, 2019 at 05:10 am

It was a good sound bite though.

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Samson's picture

January 19, 2019 at 12:02 pm

"seems like a fun guy"
You must mean his commercials. --- His on-field production in season 2018 was 3.5 sacks & 29 tackles (+ 14 assisted) in 16 games. -- This "fun guy" contributed little to GB, thus 6-9-1.

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stockholder's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:37 am

Uncertainty. It was what you wanted and got. New coach, new staff of unpredictables, the past heroics are offically Done. Clay Mathews has nothing to stay for. The team is rebuilding. Just look at the holes! I still believe Clay Mathews has value. Clay Mathews was not BEAT OUT by Anyone. And he won't get beat out by a draft choice. Don't expect him to sit quietly and play for Rookie pay. He will play for someone else first. He knows the writing was on the wall. He went through changes that strip a player of best years. The injuries. The Team First. Respect. By disrespecting Clay Mathews, only hurts his play. The calls against CM3 would never have been called in his early years. The packers are changing, and so has the game to protect QBs. He still can play. But we've made an image of Mathews he can no longer be. He's not a postage stamp of how things should be. He's a NFL player that wants to work yet. I believe we still have a place for clay Mathews. Cut Cobb, Cut Perry, Cut Graham. The packers have wasted more money on illusion than fact. (TEs) Clay Mathews will give you all he has, until someone is better. Please sign him to a fair contract.

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Samson's picture

January 19, 2019 at 03:33 pm

A grand speech on your part. -- What you're basically saying is "let's continue over paying CM3 a few more years for his meager on-field production".
Season 2018 was 3.5 sacks & 29 tackles (+ 14 assisted) in 16 games). --- It simply won't take much to improve those numbers with just about anyone else in CM3's position.
The same 'ol, same 'ol just won't do any longer unless GB fans want another non playoff losing season in year 2019.

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stockholder's picture

January 19, 2019 at 08:10 pm

1. It's time you consider a Rookie isn't going to give you better stats. 2. This was a losing team. Full of injuries. 3. Moss should have been fired. 4. Clay is not a cancer and has experience! 5. Same ol same ol.? CM3 was not responsible for a losing season. 6. Over-paying, is 24 million on the bench. And yes Im talking Cobb and Perry. If Peppers can lead and be productive. CM3 can do. 7. massive over-hauls do not get you to the playoffs.

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Ezra's Hotdog's picture

January 20, 2019 at 07:00 am

1. A rookie isn't going to give you better stats? Brad Jones rookie year comes fairly close on a rookie contract.. Cobb and Perry played well in contract years and have been injured , underachievers and at least one of the two should be gone if not both.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 20, 2019 at 08:00 am

Matthews had 3.5 sacks. Kyler Fackrell had 2 separate games with 3 sacks. The Packers have gotten 3 or more sacks in a season out of the following OLBs they picked up from the scrap bin since 2010: Erik Walden (x2), Frank Zombo, Dezman Moses and Jayrone Elliott. From around 2013 on, they have thrown some actual resources at OLB opposite Matthews by using Mike Neal, Nick Perry and Julius Peppers. The only one of those 3 to fail to produce 3 sacks was Perry last year when he had 1.5 sacks in 9 games. They can go big or go small and find a way to produce in the ballpark that Matthews was in for 2018.

The fact that Cobb and Perry were overpaid last year (along with Matthews) is no reason to overpay Matthews again. It's a good argument to get rid of all 3. You can throw in Jimmy Graham to make it an even 4.

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stockholder's picture

January 20, 2019 at 08:46 am

Frackwell had a breakout year. Think about that. A guy is judged on a breakout year. Gets contracts on a breakout year. For every player that came in as a rookie and got more sacks - 10 plus failed. 10 plus. Your Rushing to judgement! Every FA player that came to the packers. Only 2 did well. White and peppers. And many Jumped on the wagon that they weren't what they were. Mathews isn't what he was. But he buys Time for someone else. Fair contract. It's not complicated to resign your own. If he's washed up. Cut him. You want the others gone. It's not hard to decide whats right for the packers. It's only money. Sign Your own, or gamble on the draft. I will be surprised if the veterans don't strike next contract.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 20, 2019 at 09:20 am

I'm not rushing to any judgement. It's been years in coming. He's been under 8 sacks for 4 straight years. He's not buying any more time. That clock expired last year.

If they want to keep him at a greatly reduced price in a very different role, I would not object. But his days of being an above average edge rusher are past.

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dobber's picture

January 19, 2019 at 11:56 am

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that one of CMIII or Perry will be with the Packers in 2019. In the end, roster management points to the fact that letting both go leaves you with Fackrell and Gilbert (and Donnerson, who didn't play a defensive snap in 2018) as your only returning edge players. To say Gilbert was a replacement level player in 2018 is doing a disservice to replacement level players. Fackrell had a breakout season, but he isn't used the same way a Perry, CMIII, or even Gilbert is used.

Quality edge players are expensive. The Packers are unlikely to draft 4, play 3 of them on a weekly basis, and get good results. Gute has mud on his face after how he managed the position in 2018. One of those two guys will be back.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 19, 2019 at 02:02 pm

You are probably right.
Also, this current offseason has a much more “hot stove” feel to it than most others previously.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 20, 2019 at 08:41 am

I agree that quality edge players are expensive. But neither Perry nor Matthews qualify as quality edge players, IMO. You can't spend your way to success. If that was possible, the 2018 Packers would have had no issues with over $20 mil in cap dollars on the 2 preferred OLB starters. And we wouldn't be talking about what the Packers should do at the spot in 2019.

IMO, you're correct to say that Reggie Gilbert wasn't very good in 2018. Matthews and Perry were not much better. Gilbert was a former UDFA on a vet min contract. That's the correct price and investment for 'not very good'. From the perspective of cap resource allocation, I'd take 2 more Gilberts over Matthews & Perry, at least at their 2018 pay/production ratios. Spend the money on something that is significantly above replacement level production.

Having said that, $3-$4 mil for Matthews and/or Perry is an entirely different thing than having them @ $10+ mil. Gute cannot make either agree to that price, tho. The hot stove market will tell the tale there. I won't be surprised either way.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2019 at 08:36 am

Absolutely. It's the parameters under which one or both returns that matters, and what they do to help stock the position around them.

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sam1's picture

January 19, 2019 at 01:06 pm

To me keeping Matthews makes sense on two fronts IF he will take a pay cut and position inside with the knowing he will NOT be an every down player!

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The TKstinator's picture

January 19, 2019 at 02:03 pm

Those are definitely the two questions!

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Qoojo's picture

January 19, 2019 at 02:11 pm

It all comes down to value. He is definitely worth keeping for the right price.

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Lphill's picture

January 19, 2019 at 03:34 pm

Who was Clay getting help from this season? Wasn’t the whole interior D line on IR ? The guy played in every game I think if they had a decent rotation of OLb’s he could have played less snaps and been more effective. I think he deserves a reasonable 2 year deal . If he gets a better offer than good for him.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 20, 2019 at 05:38 am

CM3 stats:
1st three games with Daniels, Clark, Wilkerson and Lowry:

6 tackles (2/gm), 1 QB hit (0.33/game), 0 TFL (0/gm)

Daniels got hurt week 11, so 10 weeks w him, Clark Lowry:

25 tackles (2.78/gm), 9 QB hits (1/gm), 1 TFL (0.11/gm).

Last 7 games of the season:

18 tackles (4.5/gm), 3 QB hits (0.43/gm), 6 TFL (0.67/gm).

I think these splits make sense. With Daniels, Clark and Lowry being stout and making tackles, CM3 had lower rates for tackles but higher QB hits/gm because the DL and defense as a whole was more dynamic in forcing the QB to move off the spot more often. After Daniels and Wilkerson got hurt, his tackles went way up because more runners reached the second level. His TFL also went up, which seems a bit counter-intuitive. It may be that CM3 decided he needed to make things happen more and became far more aggressive or Pettine changed how CM3 was used a bit to compensate. Maybe someone else has a theory about that (or everything else!).

I'd suggest that 1 QB/gm is just okay for a pass rushing starting OLB. 1.5/game is good.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 19, 2019 at 07:26 pm

I always appreciate it when Ed Wood stops by to offer his insider tips. The headline is a fun little nugget. A lot of people are saying future installments in this series include:

1. Packers Usher in LaFleur Era, but I Brought My Lunch.

2. Packers Usher in LaFleur Era, but Will It Snow Tomorrow?

Your turn. Ready. Go!

Packers Usher in LaFleur Era, but ____________________________.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 20, 2019 at 10:50 am

but My Car gets 38 mpg on the Highway

but My Belt, Socks, and Shoes are all Black

but I’ve Cut My Own Hair for the Past 25 Years

but Pot Roast in the Crock Pot Makes the Whole House Smell Good

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Lare's picture

January 20, 2019 at 11:37 am

.....but what about their de-lis?

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Qoojo's picture

January 20, 2019 at 03:44 pm

...will they start out with good pad level?

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Wilment's picture

January 19, 2019 at 10:26 pm

The obvious; Clay isn't 25 anymore and cannot beat a good tackle one on one consistently during the course of a game. The past two seasons showed this. When he was moved inside, he was effective. He can still run with a tight end, still tackle, and still make a difference. Offer him a reasonable amount{If he still fits the scheme}, and if he walks, then so be it. They let the all time leading tackler in Packers history walk, so, CM wouldn't be any different. The NFL is a business. The Packers are coming off back to back losing seasons. The coach was fired with most of his staff. Why should anyone else be spared the rod? Perhaps an incentive loaded deal would be the way to make sure the chance they take on him is worth it.

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Madfan's picture

January 20, 2019 at 09:16 am

The reason to keep Matthews (at a reduced salary) is that the Packers do not have a ready replacement. That, of course, could hopefully change through free agency or the draft.

The reason why we are even considering GB keeping Matthews is that there isn't a younger player pushing to replace him. That is a failure of the implementation of the draft and develop approach.

I'm not saying that draft and develop is not a good approach, but the implementation of it in GB has been less than average. Think of the many bad first, second, third and fourth round picks, including Thornton, R. Rodgers, Bradford, Biegel, Worthy, Green, D. Jones and Rollins. If GB had picked one good "to be developed" OLB in the period, we would had a new OLB taking over as the lead sacker.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

February 03, 2019 at 06:47 am

CM has been great for the Packers in the past but his production has slipped considerably the last couple of years and it isn't about the past, it's about the future. Is he worth keeping on the roster? I think he can still contribute to the success of the Packers but not in the capacity he has in the past. If he is willing to restructure his contract and play for less then by all means keep him, but if commands top money for mediocre performance then it's time to move on through FA or the draft.

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The TKstinator's picture

February 03, 2019 at 10:37 am

+1 all day.
PS: is that a Yamaha? Looks good!

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