The Green Bay Packers are close to signing linebacker Clay Matthews to a contract extension, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It is expected that the Packers will use a large chunk of their remaining salary cap space to sign Matthews and Aaron Rodgers to long-term deals.
Matthews is entering the final year of a five-year, $9.925 million contract and is currently scheduled to make $3.73 million in 2013 with a cap number of $4.86 million. Green Bay would like to lock him down long-term this year, before he approaches free agency. The leader of the Packers defense, Matthews has made the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons, totaling 43 tackles and 13 sacks in just 12 games last season.
The Packers have $18 million remaining in cap space for the 2013 season, money they have set aside to make sure they can keep Matthews and Rodgers around. Rodgers is expected to sign a deal soon that will make him the highest-paid player in the NFL. The terms of Matthews' potential deal are not as well known, but expect him to sign a deal that raises his cap figure to near $10 million.