According to a report from Adam Schefter and ESPN.com, the Green Bay Packers are releasing veteran offensive tackle Chad Clifton.
Clifton was drafted by the team in 2000 in the second round out of Tennessee. Clifton was a remarkable player for most of the past 12 seasons, but found his body beginning to betray itself after missing ten games this past season. According to the ESPN report, Clifton was the oldest starting left tackle in the National Football League.
He started 160 of his 165 career games as Packer and was selected to two Pro Bowls. Clifton and Mark Tauscher provided much needed stability to an offensive line that was greatly in flux during the beginning of Mike McCarthy’s time as Packers head coach.
It’s truly an end of an era in Green Bay. Clifton was the last piece standing from the great offensive line the Packers had in the early 2000s. he helped Ahman Green become one of the the best running backs in Packers history and helped transition the team between Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre
Clifton was owed $5.7 million in salary and bonuses this year.
Marshall Newhouse, Derek Sherrod and maybe even Brian Bulaga wait in the wings to replace Clifton. That could give Packer fans cause for concern as Sherrod went down with an injury last season and Newhouse was inconsistent. Bulaga meanwhile has shown potential to be one of the better right tackles in the game so it may not make much sense the Packers to move him to the other side.
Could the left tackle position be an area of focus for the Packers in this weekend’s NFL draft? Stay tuned.——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke
14 thoughts on “Report: Green Bay Packers to Release Chad Clifton”
It was necessary
Most knew this to be sooner or later.
However,with Sherrod,Newhouse,Bulaga and yes,Lang…I think TT drafts a LT next year if it appears during this one,neither Newhouse or especially Sherrod(1st rd) show the ability to command it.All the best to Cliffy.
Any predictions when Donald gets his pink slip.
When DWTS is over, lol.
considering the fact that there’s no money owed to driver for a while (though no one really knows for certain). I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at training camp at the very least. There are arguments that Tori Gurley or Diondre Biorel are better than Driver, but he’s definitely good enough to be on the 90 man training camp roster.
Bulaga wasn’t one of the better right tackles in the game. He was probably THE BEST right tackle in the game, at least while he was healthy.
After Tauscher’s release last year, we all knew this was coming. I’m not terribly worried about the depth along the line unless something strange happens in the next few months.
You mean like McCarthy / Campen playing musical chairs with the O-Linemen again?
Musical chairs is almost assured. I’ll bet we’ll see Lang take some snaps at RT, Bulaga at LT and Newhouse at LG. Frankly I don’t see it as a huge issue as long as it’s kept to training camp, why not see if these guys can play other positions? Just don’t try to see if these guys can play other positions in actual games.
I wonder if Cliffy doesn’t get picked-up by anyone else, would he consider being “on-call” so to speak, like Tauscher was for the Pack in 2009. If so the Pack would get the best of both worlds by having some young prospects to develop all the while having a veteran available to fill in if need be who’s not even on the roster. This is all assuming Cliffy is even physically capable of playing anymore.
Regardless, there was a stretch of a few years where I believe Cliffy was best pure pass-blocking LT in the league. There were long-periods of time where no one got a sniff off him.
I don’t know that I ever saw anything in print or by word of mouth via the Packers or Tauscher that he was “on-call”.
I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that was nothing more than fan/media conjecture, nothing of substance.. Just wishful thinking and whimsy.
I have to wonder whether or not this signals Bulaga’s move to LT? With Sherrod out until summer, and Newhouse kinda “iffy” last year now would be the time IF that’s the plan. I think the line will be OK.
Thanks Cliffy for all the great years, and good luck in your future!
This was inevitable. Everyone knew, or at least should have known, that Clifton would not play a complete season. I’m an advocate of keeping Bulaga at RT. He has performed well there and there is no need for him and his replacement to learn positions. Keep it one one member of the line only.
Teach Newhouse how to cut off speed rushers and/or use pre-season to drill the posiion into Sherrod’s head. That means playing 3 qtrs of all 4 games.
Thanks for the memories Cliffy.
I do believe that Newhouse is capable of becoming a great LT for us this year.
Like many fans, I didn’t expect Clifton to make the roster this season, and also like most of us, the only hope I thought he had came in the form of uncertainty about the depth of the LT position due to SHerrod’s leg injury. I believed it was time to move on, and believe it is the prudent move.
All that being said, it still feels a bit like being punched in the gut to hear the news. This guy really did sacrifice his body week in and week out, a real warrior, and always performed. One of the most under rated LT’s in the league for a decade.
Tough business. These decisions are never easy, and hardly “fair”, but necessary none the less.
Thanks Mr. Clifton. I’ll see you in the Packers HOF soon.
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