In a somewhat surprising move, the Los Angeles Rams have decided to part ways with Linebacker Clay Matthews after just signing him to a two-year, $9.25 million contract just last offseason.
#Rams are also releasing LB Clay Matthews, source says
I could be wrong, but Clay Matthews is somebody the Dallas Cowboys could show an interest in now that he's hit the open market. There's the obvious Mike McCarthy connection dating back to their days in Green Bay, but there's also a current void at defensive end after Robert Quinn's departure. It makes a little of since at least… Doesn't it?
Let's examine this a little further…
At 33 years old – 34 in May – Clay Matthews' days in the NFL are likely numbered. He's no longer the spring chicken he once was, but he is still producing at a relatively high level. He recorded eight quarterback sacks in 13 games with the Rams in 2019, which was third on the team behind only Aaron Donald (12.5) and Dante Fowler (11.5), who both played all 16.
Being in his mid-30s isn't ideal, but the fact he still producing is encouraging. His age likely means he could be a cost-effective option for the Dallas Cowboys, something they seem to be all about when it comes to free agents. Unfortunately though, Matthews isn't the best fit in the Cowboys 4-3 defensive scheme.
Throughout his career, Matthews has been at his best standing up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme. That means he's probably not the best replacement for Robert Quinn as an every down defensive end, but he has proven he can be a really good off-ball linebacker as well when needed. That versatility is at the very least a little intriguing.
I'd actually be really surprised if the Dallas Cowboys showed more than just moderate interest in Clay Matthews. He would probably be nothing more than a depth/insurance piece in Dallas, which is something he may not be willing to accept right now. If that doesn't bother him though, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys signing him to a team friendly/cost-effective contract.