Super Bowl Champion Linebacker Says His 'Playing Days Are Over'

A former NFL linebacker who won a Super Bowl has unofficially announced his retirement. Clay Matthews, who spent 11 seasons with the Green Bay Packers recently told Packers Wire that he's done playing football. The last time Matthews played was in 2019 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Rams. 

"My playing days are over," Matthews told Packers Wire. Matthews was one of the top linebackers in the NFL when he played for the Packers. When he was selected by Green Bay in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Matthews made an immediate impact, registering 51 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. His play on the field helped the Packers win their fourth Super Bowl and 13th NFL championship in franchise history. From there, Matthews would go tally 83.5 sacks in 10 seasons with the Packers, was named to the Pro Bowl six times and the All-Pro team twice. 

In March 2019, Matthews signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams and notched 37 tackles nine tackles for loss, and eight sacks in 13 games. He was released by the Rams in March 2020 and remained a free agent event since. "I had a few other offers after for the 2020 season, but we had just moved to LA, and we had just had our third child, and it was the middle of COVID, so there were a lot of unknowns," Matthews said. "Ultimately, there wasn't a situation out there that made me want to relocate the family again. I wanted to focus on the next chapter, which is being a dad and being home a lot more."

Matthews is the Packers' official leader in sacks (sacks became an official stat in 1982). In an interview with ESPN, Matthews said he wanted to say in Green Bay. But when the team signed Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith in free agency before the 2019 season, he knew they were moving on from him.

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"I would have loved to finish my career there," Matthews said."Based on my discussions after that 2018 season, I thought we were going to continue moving forward. But yeah the manner in which it did kinda caught me by surprise. Ultimately it is what it is. I had fun in my year in L.A. It was a blast getting to go home and play with some incredible players."