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Los Angeles Rams sign Clay Matthews: Grade, reaction and more

The Los Angeles Rams are adding a veteran defender in hopes of bolstering their pass rushing with the signing of linebacker Clay Matthews.

One year after reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2004, the Rams found themselves in the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001. That game ended just as it did 17 years earlier with a loss to the New England Patriots.

Still, Sean McVay’s team finished 13-3 last season and scored the second-most points in the league. And that was key considering these Los Angeles Rams allowed exactly 24 points per game during the regular season.

For all of its talent on the defensive side of the ball, it was somewhat surprising that the team finished 19th in the league in total yards allowed per game and were a disappointing 23rd against the run.

But the team has made some changes on this side of the football. And the defending NFC champion are also welcoming a veteran that’s very familiar with the Los Angeles Coliseum in the form of one-time USC standout and longtime Green Bay Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews.

Contract Details

While NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke the news, it was colleague Mike Garafolo with the financial information. Matthews will ink a two-year contact with a maximum worth of $16.75 million.

National Reaction

Matthews has 10 NFL seasons under his shoulder pads and some would insist that his days of putting up big sack numbers are well in his past. That may be true but he now joins a defensive unit led by two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and effective pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. The six-time Pro Bowler could be a nice fit in Wade Phillips’ defense and his experience in the 3-4 makes for an easy transition.

It will be interesting to see if the versatile performer, who has also played inside linebacker, has the staying power to contribute throughout the season. Will he be just as effective in December than say September? It’s a solid move for the defending NFC champions and Matthews joins a very talented group.

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The Rams’ defense was erratic at best this past season, especially when it came to stopping the run. Matthews could wind up both inside and outside in Phillips’ defensive unit. It’s an intriguing pickup for a team that has its share of big names on both sides of the ball.

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