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Matthews deal gives rise to old money vs. new money debate

Clay Matthews AP

In recent weeks, as the Packers and linebacker Clay Matthews closed in on a new contract, some reported that Matthews will become the highest-paid linebacker in the game.

And now that he has signed a five-year, $66 million extension, many are proclaiming that Matthews, with an average of $13.2 million, has exceeded the prior high-water mark of $13 million set in 2009 by Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

The many are right, as long as the many ignore that Matthews still had one full year remaining on his current contract.  With a base salary for 2013 of $3.73 million, Matthews’ total haul will be $69.73 million over six years, which equates to an annual average of $11.62 million.

Ware, in contrast, received a six-year, $78 million deal in late October of the 2009 season.  While Ware was closer to the end of his deal when he got paid, Ware would have been a restricted free agent in the uncapped year of 2010.

While there’s no dispute that Matthews finagled a significant deal at a time when the market for free agents has dipped, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get duped into thinking that Matthews’ deal is better than it really is:  six years, $69.73 million.

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22 Responses to “Matthews deal gives rise to old money vs. new money debate”
  1. jjb0811 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:01 PM

    Pretty foolish to lock up a LB before your QB.

  2. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:04 PM

    Imagine the kind of money Matthews might command if the Packers actually had, you know, a good defense…

  3. kwjsb says: Apr 17, 2013 8:06 PM

    Family of excellence, I was proud to watch your dad wear the orange and your uncle wear the blue. Gratz !!

  4. enochmh2 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:09 PM

    Mathews is an animal for about the first four or five games then he tails off,but great player nevertheless

  5. dalucks says: Apr 17, 2013 8:21 PM

    I guess J.J. Watt is worth 15 to 17 million a year.

  6. gpack22 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:23 PM

    Matthews signing first is just showmanship to get him some pub before Rodgers monster deal gets announced.

  7. tremoluxman says: Apr 17, 2013 8:26 PM

    Matthews = Overrated. And way overpaid.

  8. majormeatcurtains says: Apr 17, 2013 8:37 PM

    Better belly up to the feed trough fast Rodgers while there’s something left.

  9. roadtrip3500 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:45 PM

    The guaranteed money is all that matters. The rest can disappear with the wind if he gets a career-ending injury or is cut in a cap move.

  10. mrlaloosh says: Apr 17, 2013 8:53 PM

    Sure hope he survive on that paycheck. Absurd.

  11. emoney826 says: Apr 17, 2013 9:02 PM

    Why some much hatred? Because he’s a member of the packers? You’re an idiot if you think this guy is overrated.

  12. dangernearing says: Apr 17, 2013 9:17 PM

    What’s the fascination Florio has with ppls money? Outside of cap hit/charges, whos give a darn. He’s still rich. Almost like this guy wakes up angry at everything outside of Big Ben’s bathroom. You mad, bro?

  13. toonloonboon says: Apr 17, 2013 9:42 PM

    i guesss neither he nor their pretty boy QB will be offering their team a discount double check.

  14. delmonte55 says: Apr 17, 2013 9:44 PM

    I will sleep better tonight now that it has been explained.

  15. derekczajkowski says: Apr 17, 2013 9:51 PM

    One word overrated

  16. 4ever19 says: Apr 17, 2013 10:21 PM

    Six years, $69.73 million: We need to take up a collection for the man?

  17. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears says: Apr 17, 2013 10:34 PM

    If you pay attention to the games, you can see he will be worth it. His improvement has been incredible and smart teams give contracts to what a player will do, not what they have done. He is only 26 years old and will be just 32 when this contract expires. Guaranteeing that a player who should have won DPOY three years ago will spend his prime in green and gold sounds great to me.

  18. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 17, 2013 10:37 PM

    Superbowl winners command a premium.

  19. jfinn5 says: Apr 18, 2013 12:12 AM

    This is the same guy that was confused by Kapernick and always chasing from 10 yards from behind. Stupid Move.

  20. tiggerblood says: Apr 18, 2013 3:43 AM

    Hope he can stay healthy and the deal will be worth every penny. If genetics have anything to do with it he’ll play well beyond 32.

  21. iluvbears says: Apr 18, 2013 5:30 AM

    Not worth it.

  22. gbmickey says: Apr 18, 2013 8:29 AM

    With all things considered (age,productivity,position) 11 million per year is a pretty good signing.

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