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Thursday, April 18, 2013 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
Packers lock up Matthews for $66M
By The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. — One big deal done for the Green Bay Packers, one to go.
The Packers locked up star linebacker Clay Matthews with a long-term extension Wednesday as the team took care of one of its top two stars in need of new deals. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is also in negotiations for an extension.
Matthews posted a picture of himself on Twitter signing the deal, saying, "Trivial amongst the recent tragic news, but happy to continue my career in Green Bay!"
The Packers did not announce terms of the extension, reported to be for five years, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the deal is worth $66 million. That would put Matthews on par with Dallas outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, whose contract also averages $13 million per year.
"Clay has been a productive member of our team, and we are pleased to be able to come to an agreement that will extend his Packers career," general manager Ted Thompson said.
With Matthews' deal done, the Packers now can turn all of their attention to Rodgers, whose extension is expected to make him the highest-paid player in the league..
Matthews was set to earn a base of $3.73 million this season in the final year of his rookie deal, signed after the Packers made him the 26th pick in the 2009 draft. But the 26-year-old's price tag has gone up considerably as he's become one of the top linebackers in the NFL. He had 42 ½ sacks in his first four seasons, fifth best in the NFL during that span. He's finished in the top five in the league in sacks in two of the past three seasons, with 13 ½ in 2010 and 13 in 2012.
The 13 sacks last season, which were fourth best in the NFL, came despite Matthews missing four games with a hamstring injury.
Vick practices like
he's Eagles' starter
PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick hasn't lost any of his swagger, even if he's competing for a starting job and perhaps even a roster spot.
"This is still my team, still my job," Vick said after the Philadelphia Eagles held their second practice under coach Chip Kelly. "That's the mind-set you have to have. I believe in myself and my abilities, and I believe in the guys on this football team. I'm just excited I'm back in Philadelphia for another year, and we have an opportunity to do some great things."
Vick is entering his fifth season with the Eagles, and the soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback is the oldest player on a rebuilding team. He accepted a restructured contract to remain with the Eagles, just two years after signing a $100 million extension that included $35.5 million in guaranteed money.
Vick could've forced the Eagles to move him. Instead, he wanted to play for Kelly and his high-octane offense.
"I took the risk because Philadelphia has been great to me," he said. "Jeffrey Lurie has been awesome and outstanding in his ownership and leadership. Bringing in Chip Kelly was a determining factor, and I wanted to have an opportunity to learn a new offense."
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