The Packers signed the first of their two first round draft picks Clay Matthews to a deal this morning. The linebacker from USC was signed to a 5-year deal worth $10 million that could be worth up to $13.275 million if all incentives are met. Matthews was the 26th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, after Ted Thompson swapped picks with the New England Patriots who had previously acquired the pick from the Baltimore Ravens who traded up to grab offensive tackle Michael Oher out of Ole Miss.
The signing of Matthews means that ninth-overall pick B.J. Raji is the only Packers not signed as of today, July 30.
Matthews joins a crowded battle for the outside linebacker spots in Dom Capers‘ new 3-4 defense. Aaron Kampman appears to have the left side under wraps, leaving right side wide open for Matthews, Jeremy Thompson, who impressed during mini-camps after revamping his body, and veteran Brady Poppinga, a strong run stopper. Matthews appeared to have the inside track after being drafted, but after tweaking his hamstring during OTAs, it opened the door for Thompson to make a splash and an impression, which he most certainly did, making the battle for outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense one of the most important of camp.
Matthews will wear No. 52 for the Pack.