SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews doesn't have a lengthy history of late hits, but his out-of-bounds tackle on Colin Kaepernick on Sunday had 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh accusing him of being dirty. Matthews denied that criticism in a locker room interview on Wednesday, but then went one farther. He's not a ''dirty player'', said Matthews; he's an ''awesome'' one. Matthews' talent is undeniable, but is he treating this too lightly?

Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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So the San Francisco 49ers have good linebackers -- four of the best in the league, in fact. No wonder the team finished third in the league in yards allowed per game and third in points in 2012. Where do these Bay Area aces rank among all of the league's LBs? Click the images below to set your rankings!

Rank 'Em: MVP | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DLs | DBs | Offensive ROY | Defensive ROY

NFL linebackers in 2013

NaVorro Bowman

NaVorro Bowman

49ers
2012: 148 tackles, 2 sacks, FF, INT

Lance Briggs

Lance Briggs

Bears
2012: 103 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT

Ahmad Brooks

Ahmad Brooks

49ers
2012: 46 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 FF, INT

Brian Cushing

Brian Cushing

Texans
2012: 30 tackles, FF, INT

Tamba Hali

Tamba Hali

Chiefs
2012: 51 tackles, 9 sacks, FF

Derrick Johnson

Derrick Johnson

Chiefs
2012: 125 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 FF

Luke Kuechly

Luke Kuechly

Panthers
2012: 164 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT

Sean Lee

Sean Lee

Cowboys
2012: 58 tackles, FF, INT

Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews

Packers
2012: 43 tackles, 13 sacks, FF

Jerod Mayo

Jerod Mayo

Patriots
2012: 147 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 FF, INT

Von Miller

Von Miller

Broncos
2012: 68 tackles, 18.5 sacks, 6 FF, INT

Brian Orakpo

Brian Orakpo

Redskins
2012: 5 tackles, sack, FF

Terrell Suggs

Terrell Suggs

Ravens
2012: 22 tackles, 2 sacks

Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

49ers
2012: 66 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 3 FF, INT

Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis

49ers
2012: 120 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT

Lamarr Woodley

Lamarr Woodley

Steelers
2012: 38 tackles, 4 sacks, FF, INT

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One down, one to go. The Green Bay Packers locked up one of their key players long term, as middle linebacker Clay Matthews signed a five-year contract extension that will reportedly pay him more than $13 million annually. Matthews' new deal includes $31 million of guaranteed money and keeps the four-time Pro Bowler in Green Bay for his prime years. With Matthews' contract situation cleared up, the Packers can now focus on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who's also looking for a big money deal. If Matthews is worth $13 million a year, how much is the former NFL MVP worth?


Leader of the Pack

Clay Matthews will reportedly be the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history. Is he worth it?

SportsNation

What do you make of Clay Matthews' 5-year contract extension worth $13M per season?

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    52%
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    11%
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    37%

Discuss (Total votes: 90,497)


Discount Double Check?

Clay Matthews got paid big bucks. So did the Ravens' Joe Flacco. So how many zeros will be on quarterback Aaron Rodgers' next contract?

SportsNation

With Clay Matthews signing for $13M per season, how much should Aaron Rodgers get per year in his next contract?

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    24%
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    51%
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    25%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,782)

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Madden ratings are often the most contentious topics in sports video games. Should Michael Vick have a 99 in agility? Which wide receiver gets top marks for speed? Is my team's linebacker tougher than your team's? All week long, SportsNation is ranking the players with the top marks at each position. Today, we're taking a look at the best linebackers in Madden 2012. James Harrison, DeMarcus Ware, and Patrick Willis all have 98 ratings, but are they Madden's best? Cast your vote now!

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