GREEN BAY, Wis. — For 10 years, No. 52 for the Green Bay Packers was synonymous with Clay Matthews.

A little more than a month after the Packers’ career sacks leader left in free agency to sign with his hometown Los Angeles Rams, there’s a new No. 52 in town.

The Packers gave Matthews’ old number to their top draft pick, Rashan Gary of Michigan, when they released their list of draft-pick jersey numbers Monday.

Matthews quickly responded on Twitter:

To be sure, with 90 players allowed on an offseason roster and six retired numbers (3, Tom Canadeo; 4, Brett Favre; 14, Don Hutson; 15, Bart Starr; 66, Ray Nitschke; 92, Reggie White), the team doesn’t exactly have the luxury of keeping too many numbers out of circulation.

The most recent number controversy surrounding the Packers came after career receiving leader Donald Driver retired following the 2012 season. While no one wore his No. 80 in 2013, it was issued to tight end Justin Perillo for the 2014 season.

Matthews, a first-round pick in 2009, left the Packers as their all-time sacks leader with 83.5. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was the runner-up for defensive player of the year in 2010, the season the Packers won their most recent Super Bowl.

The team not only released the list of new numbers but also featured Gary in his new No. 52.

It was about 90 minutes later when Matthews tweeted his response.


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