Clay Matthews, who is closing in on a long-term deal with the Packers, has his sights on last year's Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Packers, Clay Matthews close to extension

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With all the focus on Aaron Rodgers and his potential bank-breaking extension, the Green Bay Packers are also reportedly close on extending another one of its superstar players, Clay Matthews.

According to’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers and Matthews are close to a deal that would pay Matthews around $13 million annually.  The potential new contract would make Matthews the highest paid pass-rushing linebacker in the NFL. The deal will reportedly eclipse the previous deal of six-year, $78 million contract that the Dallas Cowboys and DeMarcus Ware agreed on a few seasons ago, which made Ware the highest paid pass-rushing linebacker in the NFL.

The Milwaukee Journel-Sentinel reported last week that the deal between Matthews and the Packers is “in place” and the “finishing touches” will be worked out shortly.

Obviously for Ted Thompson, the hope is for the Packers to have all of its must-sign veterans locked up before the NFL Draft rolls around in just more than 20 days.

A number of Packers fans, me included, have been skeptical about extending Matthews to such a large deal because of his injury history.

Matthews has missed a handful of games over the last couple of seasons with a nagging hamstring injury, and for a pass-rusher that is particularly alarming.

There is no debate that when healthy and on the field, Matthews is worth every penny of this potential deal. He is a gamer and arguably the best defender to come to Green Bay since the minister of defense himself, Reggie White.

Nonetheless, Matthews and the Packers are closing in on a deal that would make the “Claymaker” the highest paid pass-rusher in the game.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Clay Matthews Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Green Bay Packers Ted Thompson

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