Linebacker Clay Matthews is pretty familiar with the area around the Rams’ practice facility.
He owns a home minutes from where Los Angeles practices in Thousand Oaks, Calif. and graduated from Agoura High School — about 12.5 miles from team headquarters.
That makes for a fairly unique experience for the six-time Pro Bowler, who officially signed his two-year contract with the Rams on Thursday morning.
Check out the best photos of the new Los Angeles Rams linebacker Clay Matthews.
“L.A. hasn’t had an NFL organization in some time — at least since I was a kid,” Matthews told therams.com. “And for them to come back here, and for it to be so close to home — it truly is a perfect fit for me.”
Despite playing his first 10 seasons for the Packers, having grown up in the area, Matthews says he and his family still consider this area home.
“Well, what brings me to Los Angeles is the simple fact that I grew up out here, went to school out here. My family and I, this is what we consider home — building a house out here currently that should be done soon,” Matthews said. “And then furthermore, the success that the Rams have had recently — it’s a no brainer for me to continue my career out here. So I’m looking forward to it, looking forward to helping this team get a Lombardi trophy.”
The veteran linebacker already has a Lombardi to his name, having defeated the Steelers with the Packers in Super Bowl XLV. And really, this was his first foray into free agency after spending 10 seasons in Green Bay.
“I had a pretty good run out there in Green Bay, have nothing but great things, great memories that I had out there — which includes winning a Super Bowl,” Matthews said. “But with this new part of my career, it’s moving on into a team that I wanted to go to, a team that’s equally receptive and at the same time is playing some really good ball. So I hope to contribute to that and ultimately achieve the ultimate goal.”
So what was the deciding factor for Matthews choosing to sign with his hometown team?
“I kind of knew that the Rams were where I wanted to go,” Matthews said. "With where I’m at in my career, and where I’m at as a husband and father to three kids — it just made sense to kind of come closer to home with these last couple years. So, I mean, that was really it. Obviously as I had mentioned, the success of the team as of late, as well as how close they were to winning a Super Bowl last year — all that adds to the allure of coming out here.”