Long-haired Packers legend Clay Matthews announced that his “playing days are over,” his first mention of official retirement after 11 seasons in the NFL.
Matthew has been away from the game since 2020, last playing for the Los Angeles Rams, but maintained interest from NFL teams well after.
From pouncing on NFC North quarterbacks to Gillette and FatHead TV spots, Matthews’ notoriety in the NFL surged through the late aughts to the 2010s, and as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
Clay retires as Green Bay’s all-time sacks leader with 83.5 total.
Matthews spoke with Packers Wire’s Brandon Carwile and confirmed his immediate retirement at age 36.
“My playing days are over,” Matthews told Carwile.
However, Matthews isn’t officially retiring as a Packer, despite hoping Green Bay would reach out for one final agreement.
The linebacker admitted that his release from the Rams in 2020, after a productive year in LA, came as a surprise.
“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.”
All-Time Packers Great
Matthews appeared in 10+ games for 10 straight seasons with the Packers and one with the Rams. He didn’t have a drastic falling off as a disruptive rusher and was seen as a dependable starter in his 30s. After being released by the Rams, Matthews had talks with the Denver Broncos but never agreed to a deal.
“I had a few other offers after for the 2020 season, but we had just moved to LA,” he said, “and we had just had our third child, and it was the middle of COVID, so there were a lot of unknowns.”
Matthews played his way to six Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl championship with the Packers in 2011.
“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.”