Clay Matthews' extension with Packers could top $13 million per year

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Clay Matthews has proven to be one of the best in the NFL, and now he's about to be paid like it.

Clay Matthews could soon be one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL as he and the Packers are close to a contract extension which would pay him at least $13 million per season.

The report, which comes from ESPN's Adam Schefter, indicates it's a matter of when and not if an extension will get done this offseason. The 26-year-old Matthews is entering the final year of his rookie contract. One of the best pass rushers in the NFL, Mathews could soon become the highest-paid linebacker in the league. Dallas' DeMarcus Ware is currently the highest-paid linebacker with an average salary of just over $11 million per season, according to Spotrac.

If Schefter's report is accurate, Matthews would not only become the highest-paid linebacker, he would be one of the highest-paid players in the NFL. A contract averaging $13 million per season would put Matthews in the top 15 highest paid. He would also be the third-highest paid defensive player, trailing Buffalo's Mario Williams and Chicago's Julius Peppers.

The Packers and Matthews have been working on a contract extension since the season ended, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. With free agents commanding mega contracts on the open market, it makes sense for Green Bay to lock up Matthews now, even if it comes at a high price.

In four seasons with Green Bay, Matthews tallied 204 total tackles, 42.5 sacks and four interceptions. He missed four games due to injury last season, but still managed to finish the year with 13.0 sacks in 12 games.

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