Clay Matthews wanted to return to Packers in 2021

Remember when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers supposedly launched an effort to bring back linebacker Clay Matthews in 2021 supposedly was a joke? It definitely wasn’t a joke to Matthews.

Via Rob Demovsky of, Matthews recently said that he did indeed hope to return to the Packers in 2021, after not playing in 2020 following his release by the Rams.

“I would have loved to finish my career there,” Matthews said Monday. “Based on my discussions after that 2018 season, I thought we were going to continue moving forward. But yeah the manner in which it did kinda caught me by surprise. Ultimately it is what it is. I had fun in my year in L.A. It was a blast getting to go home and play with some incredible players.”

The Rams cut Matthews after the 2019 season. There was scattered interest, but not enough to get Matthews to essentially work for free, since the Rams owed him $2 million guaranteed for the 2020 season.

In 2021, when Rams assistant Joe Barry became the defensive coordinator in Green Bay, Matthews thought he’d have a chance to return to the Packers.

“He had reached out to me,” Matthews said regarding Barry. “He knew that I could still play and I think he knew if he had me, he could find a way to use me within the scheme. But nothing ever manifested, so I think ultimately there might have been powers above that didn’t want that to happen. But yeah, there was a brief glimmer of hope of coming back. That didn’t happen, but it’s all good. But I’m at peace with my career.”

After Rodgers basically flipped a coin the weekend before the start of training camp and decide not to retire, Rodgers and other teammates began posting on Instagram an effort to push the front office to bring back Matthews. Since it came on the heels of Rodgers successfully squeezing the team to trade for receiver Randall Cobb, people took it seriously.

Rodgers seemed get a kick out of the fact that his supposed trolling of the media worked. The truth is — as we wrote at the time — that Matthews was interested in coming back. As it turns out, he was very interested.

Maybe, in the end, Rodgers acted as if it was all a joke because he didn’t want to admit that his effort to strong arm the front office to round up his friends after he decided to stay with the team wasn’t one-for-one, but one-for-two.

Clay Matthews wanted to return to Packers in 2021 originally appeared on Pro Football Talk