NFL rumors link Seahawks need to bolster pass rush to former LA Rams OLB Clay Matthews
The LA Rams had to make some tough choices this year. The team had shackled themselves to very team-hostile contracts with both RB Todd Gurley and WR Brandin Cooks. So hostile, in fact, that when their production dropped, the Rams organization paid the financial penalty. So impacting was the salary cap hit, that the Rams had to make other roster changes in order to remain within the 2020 salary cap.
One of those “collateral damage” roster moves was cutting OLB Clay Matthews. While the move saved the Rams salary cap space, Matthews was a productive player for the Rams, who played 13 games, starting all 13. Despite suffering a broken jaw against the Seattle Seahawks, Matthews recorded eight sacks and 37 tackles for his first and only season with the Rams.
Anywhere but an NFC West team?!?!
The Rams cut Matthews to save salary cap space. But you could almost feel the hope that he would not sign on with an NFC West team, making the Rams regret the decision to part ways. And that’s the queue for the Seattle Seahawks to enter the equation. You see, the Seahawks defense was not very good at sacking the quarterback last year. In fact, they were the 31st ranked defense in quarterback sacks for 2019. Their total of 28 sacks was nearly half of the Rams total of 50. And of that total, Clay Matthews accounted for eight.
So that’s enough to generate some interest by the Seahawks.
All things staying the same, the Rams sack total would drop to 42, while the Seahawks sack total would climb to a more respectable 36. Of course, all things do not stay the same. Matthews claims snaps on the Seahawks defense, eliminating their production. And snaps are opened up for the Rams defense, affording an opportunity for other players to make plays.
After his release, the Rams and Matthews had a bit of a disagreement over $2 million owed to Matthews. That disagreement became a dispute when Matthews filed a grievance over the back pay. The crux of the matter is the offset language for Matthews’s money. The Rams are on the hook for it, unless Matthews signs with another team. If that happens, the Rams can offset up to $2 million that Matthews receives from another team.
So the Rams have reasons to cheer for Matthews signing with the Seahawks, and picking up $2 million in salary cap savings. But they will have to face Matthews twice a year, and he’ll be a bit embittered with the delay on his money. As the NFC West arms race escalates, Matthews is just the latest veteran name to be rumored to a team in that division. Will the Seahawks sign him? Right now, the consensus is leaning on their signing Everson Griffen. But it’s certainly a situation worth monitoring. The Rams need salary cap space to extend CB Jalen Ramsey. Stay tuned!