It's going to be weird to see Clay Matthews in something other than a Packers uniform, but No. 52 will be there in spirit. And that spirit will come in the form of Rashan Gary, whom the Packers gave Matthews' old number to after 10 seasons with the team.
In those 10 seasons, Matthews was a six-time Pro Bowler, an All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion, and he was one of the faces of a Dom Capers defense that had a lot of ups and downs over the years.
The team tweeted out a photo of Gary photoshopped into his new threads, and Matthews seemed to (playfully) take issue with the rookie's number choice.
😑😑😑 The body’s not even cold yet lol— Clay Matthews III (@ClayMatthews52) April 29, 2019
"The body's not even cold yet lol," Matthews wrote about the picture.
Not that it ultimately matters in a modern NFL where steadfast positions are becoming a thing of the past and players are always moving around, but it also give some insight into how the Packers want to utilize Gary. They're anticipating him becoming their new sack-master, so if anything it's paying tribute to a guy who did it for them for a long time.
Matthews doesn't have it so bad. He's back in Southern California after attending USC in college, he joins a team that made the Super Bowl last year, and he's surrounded by all sorts of defensive talent. on the other hand, he probably didn't expect No. 52 to get retired in Green Bay, but still, at least give it a little bit of mourning after 10 years.