Packers, Matthews agree to extension

The Green Bay Packers have locked up one of their star players for the long term, with All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews coming to terms with the defending NFC North champions on a multi-year contract extension Wednesday.

The Packers did not reveal financial terms, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the agreement to be five years in length with a total value of $66 million. Matthews was entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed after being taken by Green Bay with the 26th overall pick of the 2009 draft.

"Trivial among the recent tragic news, but happy to continue my career in Green Bay!," Matthews tweeted on Wednesday.

The only player in franchise history to earn Pro Bowl honors in each of his first four seasons in the NFL, Matthews has compiled 42 1/2 sacks over that span and recorded 13 this past season to finish fifth in the league. His overall sack total over the last four years is also the fifth-most of any NFL players during that time frame.

Matthews racked up 13 1/2 sacks along with 60 tackles and two forced fumbles during Green Bay's Super Bowl XLV championship run in 2010, finishing second to Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu in voting for the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award that season. He followed up with a 50-tackle, six-sack campaign in 2011, while also establishing career highs for interceptions (3) and forced fumbles (3) that year.

"Congratulations to Clay, who has quickly developed into a core member of our team," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. "His accomplishments and the example he sets on and off the field will be vital to our continued success. We look forward to the rest of his Packers career."

With Matthews now under contract until 2018, the Packers can now turn their attention toward hammering out a long-term pact with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Journal Sentinel reported this past weekend that the team and the 2011 league MVP were close to a deal that would make Rodgers the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Rodgers and Matthews, incidentally, are both represented by the Athletes First sports agency.