Aaron Rodgers Calls for Packers to Sign Clay Matthews on IG: 'Bring Him Back'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 14, 2021

ARLINGTON,TX - FEBRUARY 06: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Clay Matthews #52 looks on after defeating the  Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The  Packers defeated the Steelers 31 to 25.  (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, wide receiver Randall Cobb and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari urged the team to bring back outside linebacker Clay Matthews III for the 2021 season. 

FOX6's Lily Zhao showcased the players' Instagram stories, which started with Cobb posting a picture of the six-time Pro Bowler:

Lily Zhao @LilySZhao

Good morning <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Packers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Packers</a> fans! <br><br>ICYMI: Aaron Rodgers and David Bakhtiari want Clay Matthews back 👀 <a href="https://t.co/RqbijfUpTm">pic.twitter.com/RqbijfUpTm</a>

Matthews spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the Packers, who selected him out of USC in the first round of the 2009 draft. He quickly emerged as one of the league's top edge-rushers, tallying 83.5 sacks across 143 games for the franchise, including four seasons with double-digit sacks.

The California native left Green Bay to sign with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, but he told Michael Silver of NFL.com that wasn't by choice.

"People say, 'You chose to go to L.A.' I didn't choose. They told me there was no room for me," Matthews said about his departure from the Packers, which he called a "shock."

He played well for the Rams, racking up eight sacks in 13 appearances, but he was released by L.A. in March 2020 and has remained a free agent ever since, sitting out the 2020 season.

Now with the Packers facing a potential "Last Dance" scenario after Rodgers expressed his displeasure with the franchise before agreeing to return for one more year in exchange for some concessions, including a trade to bring back Cobb, the calls are growing louder for the return of Matthews.

The veteran linebacker probably wouldn't fill the three-down role he did during his prime, but he showed with the Rams he can still be a reliable situational edge-rusher. He'd provide depth behind starters Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith if signed.

It's unclear whether Green Bay's front office has any interest in Matthews, but it has an estimated $11.2 million in cap space available for 2021 based on the top-51 roster projection, per Spotrac.

Matthews was part of the Packers' Super Bowl XLV-winning squad. With the team looking to run it back with the current core one more time, he could be a nice veteran addition who should be fresh after sitting out last year.