Former Packers linebacker Clay Matthews says his playing days are over

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews isn’t sure what the protocol is for formally announcing his retirement from the NFL. However, after 10 seasons in Green Bay and one season with the Los Angeles Rams, he is ready to call it a career.

“My playing days are over,” Matthews said in an interview on Tuesday with Packers Wire.

The Packers drafted Matthews 26th overall during the 2009 NFL Draft.  He went on to become a six-time Pro Bowler and was named the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Matthews is Green Bay’s official all-time sack leader at 83.5 sacks.

Matthews also played a key role in helping the franchise win their fourth Super Bowl. During the fourth quarter, he forced a pivotal fumble on Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall to help secure the win.

Injuries and age factored into Green Bay not re-signing Matthews following the 2018 season. Matthews then signed a two-year contract with the Rams but played only one season. In that lone year with Los Angeles, he recorded 8.0 sacks in 13 games, which was his most since 2014. However, despite somewhat of a resurgence from Matthews, the Rams released him in the offseason.

“I was shocked, to be honest,” Matthews said. I thought I had a very solid year. I broke my jaw and missed three games, but I came back as if I didn’t miss any time and felt good.”

Matthews said he did receive interest from a few teams for the 2020 season but having another child and the COVID-19 pandemic led to him sitting out.

“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. 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 has spent three years away from football and enjoys watching the game from the couch. As far as what is next, he looks forward to the day when he will be invited back to officially retire as a member of the Packers.

“I definitely look forward to it,” said Matthews. “My kids are getting older, so they understand what I was able to do, so I very much look forward to showing them around Lambeau, and where we used to live, and all the things that were an integral part of their young lives and my young life as well.”

As the team’s all-time sack leader, it is inevitable that Matthews will one day be inducted into Green Bay’s Hall of Fame, something he says he never could have dreamed of when he was a rookie.

“I would definitely be very appreciative and humbled.”

This interview with Clay Matthews was made possible by Tide. Matthews has gone from tackling quarterbacks to tackling stains. Fans can visit his Instagram for a chance to win NFL grand prizes.

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Story originally appeared on Packers Wire