Where Is Clay Matthews Now? From NFL Star to Retiree

June 8, 2024

Born on May 14, 1986, in Northridge, Los Angeles, Clay Matthews III comes from a family with a rich football legacy. His father, Clay Matthews Jr., brother Casey Matthews, grandfather Clay Matthews Sr., and uncle Bruce Matthews all played critical roles in establishing this legacy. Despite his father's role as the defensive coordinator at Agoura High School, Clay did not start due to his initial physicality challenges.

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College Career

Clay Matthews walked on as a student-athlete at the University of Southern California (USC) under coach Pete Carroll. He initially played mainly on special teams and gradually earned his spot as a linebacker. Matthews was recognized for his consistent performance by winning the Special Teams Player of the Year award three consecutive times from 2006 to 2008. He contributed to three Pac-10 Championship teams and emerged as a top prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft.

NFL Career with Green Bay Packers

Drafted in the first round (26th overall) by the Green Bay Packers in the 2009 NFL Draft, Clay Matthews had an impressive rookie season with 10 sacks. He continued his performance as a top pass rusher and was a key contributor to the Packers' Super Bowl XLV victory. Known for his versatility, Matthews played both inside and outside linebacker, becoming a six-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time All-Pro. He holds the Packers’ franchise record for the most official sacks.

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Notable Seasons and Achievements

  • 2009: Pro Bowl selection and NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year with 10 sacks.
  • 2010: Recorded 13.5 sacks and named to his first All-Pro team, helping lead the Packers to a Super Bowl win.
  • 2012 and 2014: Continued strong performances with double-digit sacks.

Transition to the Los Angeles Rams

In 2019, Matthews signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams. He played in 13 games that season but faced injuries, including a broken jaw. Unfortunately, he was released by the Rams in 2020 and did not play that season.

Retirement

On September 27, 2022, Clay Matthews announced his retirement, expressing a wish to have ended his career with the Packers.

Personal Life and Media

Beyond football, Matthews is known for his involvement in charitable endeavors and his presence in various media. He has modeled and tested a Depend adult incontinence brief for charity and remains active in the sports memorabilia market. His media appearances include WWE Smackdown, Pitch Perfect 2, The Mindy Project, and Entourage, and he has endorsed brands like Nike, Gillette, and State Farm.

Legacy

Clay Matthews was inducted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame on June 25, 2023, and is set to be inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on August 29, 2024. His career, marked by perseverance and competitive spirit, continues to inspire both fans and aspiring athletes.

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