The Cleveland Browns have a ton of cap space that can be used towards free agent signings to begin the 2019 NFL season. One player they can bring in to help the team this season is linebacker Clay Matthews III.
On March 13th, the 2019 NFL season will officially begin and with that, the Cleveland Browns will be able to bring in free agents to help bolster their roster. While the Browns need help on many different parts of the field, one position that they could add some depth to is the linebacker spot.
While the Browns do have some talent at the position, most notably Christian Kirksey and 2017 Pro Bowl selection Joe Schobert, they do need to continue to add depth. Both of the previously mentioned players missed playing time this past season, with Kirksey going on the injured reserve in November while Schobert missed a few weeks in the middle of the season.
One free agent signing that could make sense for the Browns is bringing in the Green Bay Packers all-time sacks leader, Clay Matthews III. Matthews to the Browns not only makes sense from a depth perspective, but he also has an NFL connection to the city.
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His father, Clay Matthews Jr., was a first-round draft pick by the Browns back in 1978. During his time in Cleveland, Matthews Jr. played 16 seasons and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection during that time. He was a key piece to their defense throughout the 1980s. Matthews Jr. is one of the most beloved former Browns players and was recently a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2019 class.
The younger Matthews was drafted in the first round by the Packers in 2009 and is finally at the end of a five-year, $66 contract that he signed with them back in 2013. During his time with the Packers, Matthews found a lot of success on the field. In just his second season, he became a Super Bowl champion when his club defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
Matthews has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times throughout his career and is also a three-time NFL All-Pro selection (2009—2012, 2014, and 2015). He’s the Packers all-time leader in sacks as of the 2018 NFL season, with 83.5 sacks.
His past few seasons have shown the beginning of a decline in playing level, as 2018 was his most unproductive season yet. In 16 games, he only had 3.5 sacks and hasn’t had more than eight sacks in a season since the 2014 season.
The Browns might be able to offer him a shorter contract to come and play for the team and make a push for the playoffs in the 2019 season. Matthews to the Browns in the offseason would be not only a nice depth move but also bring some sense of nostalgia to older Browns fans who cheered for Matthews Jr. while the Browns were competing for a Super Bowl in the late 80s.
Is Clay Matthews III a viable option for the Browns this offseason? Do you think he’s still worth giving a contract to? Are there other players out there that might make more of an impact? Would you love this move? Hate it? Starting March 13th, Browns GM John Dorsey has some decisions to make as free agency begins. Hopefully, he works some more of his magic and continues to build this team into a contender.