Linebacker Clay Matthews agreed to a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday, returning to his native Southern California after a decade with the Green Bay Packers.
The 32-year-old Matthews set the Packers franchise record with 83½ sacks over his 10 seasons in Green Bay. The former USC star earned six Pro Bowl selections and won a Super Bowl ring with the Packers, although his 3½ sacks last season were a career low.
Matthews went to high school in Agoura Hills, California, and he lives in nearby Calabasas with his wife and growing family. Both towns are a short drive from the Rams’ training complex in Thousand Oaks northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Matthews will contribute to the Rams’ pass rush alongside All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald and linebacker Dante Fowler, who re-signed with the NFC champions earlier this month. Nose tackle Ndamukong Suh is still a free agent after his sole season with Los Angeles.
Matthews played four seasons for the Trojans at the Coliseum, where the Rams will play next season before moving into their multibillion-dollar stadium complex in Inglewood in 2020.
Matthews won four Pac-12 titles and three Rose Bowls at USC. He famously walked onto Pete Carroll’s roster and redshirted on the Trojans’ last national championship squad before growing into a first-round NFL pick.
The Rams released starting linebacker Mark Barron earlier this month, creating additional opportunities for Matthews.
Matthews joins veteran safety Eric Weddle and backup quarterback Blake Bortles in the Rams’ compact class of free-agent signings.