5 Former Cleveland Browns who would thrive on 2021 roster
2. Clay Matthews, Jr., Linebacker
There’s a special place in the hearts of Cleveland Browns fans for linebacker Clay Matthews, Jr. Part of a football royal family, Matthews played for 19 seasons in the league — 16 of which were with the Browns.
He racked up numbers at an insane rate, which is summarized by DPD’s own Eddie McDonald who believed Matthews should have been enshrined in 2021.
"“In four different seasons, Matthews led the NFL in tackles. He has the seventh-most combined tackles in NFL history. He played in 278-career games, 232 with the Browns and 46 with the Falcons, which ranks 23rd all-time. He also holds the record for the oldest player (40) to record a sack.” — McDonald on why Matthews should be enshrined in Canton"
McDonald added that Matthews is the Browns “all-time leader in sacks (62), tackles (1,430), and forced fumbles (24)” and if you want to know how good of an athlete he is, he still played well in Atlanta, recording 6.5 sacks in 1996 at the age of 40.
As it stands now, the Browns are thin at linebacker and while sacking the quarterback was one of Matthews’ best qualities, he can play as a traditional linebacker as well — evidenced by the fact that he had over 100 tackles eight times in his career.
Putting him on this defense with Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Denzel Ward, and Josh Johnson would almost feel unfair.