Green Bay Packers: 5 players with the most to prove in 2018-19

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Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
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3. Clay Matthews

It’s been three seasons since Clay Matthews last recorded double-digit sacks in a single season. You’d also have to go back to 2015 to find the last time he played a full season. There has been a lot of criticism surrounding him for some time now thanks to his lack of production.

In fact, Matthews was just named the fourth most overpaid player in the entire league. His $10.4 million contract makes him the fourth highest paid linebacker in football. He’s ahead of names such as Melvin Ingram and Luke Kuechly.

It’s clear that the 32-year-old is entering the back nine of his career. While we’re at it, he too is entering the final year of his contract. Knowing that, Matthews is entering a season in which he must prove he can play another few seasons at a high level.

More pressure can be added onto Matthews when considering the Packers thin depth at outside linebacker.

However, Matthews didn’t have as bad of a season as some might think last year. He recorded 7.5 sacks and 21 quarterback hits, both leading the Packers. With all the negative talk surrounding Matthews, it makes sense that many may not realize the solid season he put together last year.

Taking injury out of the equation, he is still a solid player, both ability wise and overall football IQ. However, for Matthews to stay with the Packers he needs to prove two things.

The first is health. He needs to show that he can play a full season without getting hurt. Secondly, he needs to show some sign that he is close to the same player as he was in 2014. Both of these concerns will be taken into account when determining his future in Green Bay.