The Cleveland Browns have had a hot start to the offseason.
Now a new player of interest to Browns fans has hit the open market.
That player is Clay Matthews III.
#Rams are also releasing LB Clay Matthews, source says
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 19, 2020
Matthews spent one season in Los Angeles and the 33-year-old is an intriguing option for the Browns for several reasons.
The Cleveland Connection
The obvious connection here is that Matthews is the son of Clay Matthews Jr.
The elder Matthews was with the Browns from 1978-1993 and had a career that should have him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by now.
Browns fans from several generations got to enjoy watching Matthews play as he became a mainstay in Cleveland.
Bringing his son back to Cleveland would be a feel-good move that most Browns fans could get behind.
Clay Matthews belongs in Cleveland. Clay Matthews belongs on the #Browns
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) March 19, 2020
The question is whether Clay III would be a good fit on the team.
Clay Matthews’ Career
Matthews III has been in the NFL since 2009 when he was drafted No. 26 overall by the Green Bay Packers.
He has made six Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl in Green Bay.
The linebacker hit free agency and signed with the Rams in 2019 on what was initially a two-year deal.
Clay Matthews career:
551 QB pressures
322 QB hurries
109 Sacks pic.twitter.com/ShzTyncHov
— PFF (@PFF) March 19, 2020
He appeared in 13 games and was not terrible, as he had eight sacks.
However, he only had 37 tackles and was only a $2 million dead cap hit for the Rams.
Getting him at such a cheap value seems to make this a no-brainer if Matthews is healthy.
The Linebackers in Cleveland
Christian Kirksey and Joe Schobert are both playing elsewhere in 2020.
The team did add B.J. Goodson in free agency and have young talent in both Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson.
Yet there is a glaring need for experience at the position and that is not something that can be addressed in the NFL Draft.
Cost would not be an issue for the Browns when it comes to Matthews.
The team is still loaded with cap space and can get Matthews on a one or two-year deal that expires before it comes time for the Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield extensions.
He would instantly be the leader at linebacker and perhaps of the entire defense.
Durability has never been a concern, which makes sense given his family name.
Should the Browns Sign Matthews?
There is no glaring negative when it comes to potentially signing Matthews.
The Cleveland connection could help sway him to join the team and thus add a Super Bowl winning player to the defense.
First-year head coach Kevin Stefanski could use someone like Matthews on the roster.
The Browns have obviously been a mess for two decades and adding veterans who are not washed up is always a good move.
The cap space is there, the Cleveland ties are clear, and the need at linebacker is obvious.
Andrew Berry should be on the phone with Matthews’ agent to get the veteran in a Browns uniform in 2020.