Former Packer Clay Matthews headed to Rams

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Clay Matthews' days in Green Bay have concluded.

The longtime Packers pass rusher is headed to play for the Los Angeles Rams, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation on Tuesday. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the deal is for two years with a max of $16.75 million. The Rams later announced the signing.

While Matthews has delighted fans at Lambeau Field for a decade, signing with Los Angeles will be a homecoming for the six-time Pro Bowler. Matthews played at Agoura High before heading to USC, where he awed Trojans fans at the same L.A. Coliseum where he'll play his home games in 2019. The Packers drafted Matthews 26th overall in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Matthews became a staple on the edge for the Packers, reaching double-digit sacks in four of his first six seasons with the Pack. No. 52, trademark blonde locks flowing behind his rush, causing havoc for opposing quarterbacks became a standard for the Green Bay faithful.

Across the first eight seasons of Matthews' decorated career -- he was also a 2010 All-Pro -- the Packers enjoyed one of the better runs in their storied franchise's history. In each of those eight years, the Packers went to the playoffs, culminating with a Super Bowl in his sophomore season. The run included usual dominance of the NFC North with five championships during the linebacker's tenure, including four in a row from 2011-2014.

This past campaign was a trying one for the Packers as they missed out on the postseason dance with a 6-9-1 record that notably featured the firing of longtime coach Mike McCarthy.

This current offseason, particularly Tuesday, was no doubt a trying one for Cheeseheads, who bid goodbye to Matthews and longtime receiver Randall Cobb, who signed with the Cowboys.

Now 32, Matthews, the No. 58 free agent via NFL.com, is still a weapon in the rush, but has slowed as evidenced by his 3.5 sacks in 16 starts in 2018. But he'll get a fresh start in a familiar place with a chance to help the reigning NFC champions get back to the Super Bowl.

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