Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews will receive a significant raise even if he doesn't renegotiate his contract before the season starts.
Due to a performance-based escalator in his rookie deal, he will see his base salary increase from a scheduled $1.492 million to $3.73 million, according to a source with access to league salary data. The increase will raise his salary cap number to $4.91 million.
Matthews ranks eighth on the team in highest salary cap number trailing, in order: Aaron Rodgers ($9.75M), Jermichael Finley ($8.75M), Tramon Williams ($8.5M), A.J. Hawk ($7.05M), Ryan Pickett ($6.7M), B.J. Raji ($6.595M) and Josh Sitton ($5.55M).
Given he's made the Pro Bowl each of his first four seasons, Matthews has a pretty good case to be the second-highest paid player on the team and it's likely his agent and the Packers will have contract discussions at the scouting combine in Indianapolis this week.
Matthews is entering the final year of a five-year deal worth around $10 million and the Packers probably will have to make him one of the highest-paid linebackers in the NFL to get him to commit to a long-term deal.
Matthews should command a deal similar to the ones Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, Pittsburgh's LaMarr Woodley, Indianapolis' Robert Mathis and the New York Jets' David Harris have signed. Those deals range from $8 million to $11 million annually and feature guaranteed money as high as $29.5 million.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews set for salary bump
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 19