Packers release veteran LT Chad Clifton
The Green Bay Packers released veteran left tackle Chad Clifton
on Monday, saying goodbye to a player who anchored their pass
protection for more than a decade.
Clifton has been the Packers’ primary left tackle since 2000,
starting 160 games over 12 seasons with quarterbacks Brett Favre
and Aaron Rodgers. He started only six games last season because of
hamstring and back injuries.
It was not immediately clear whether Clifton will retire or try
to play for another team.
”Chad is a great Packer and has been an integral part of our
success over the past 12 seasons,” Packers general manager Ted
Thompson said in a statement. ”He was a member of some of the most
prolific offenses in team history, but more importantly, he is a
great person and teammate. We thank Chad for all that he has given
the Packers on the field and in the community and wish him and his
ESPN reported the Packers’ plans to release Clifton earlier
Clifton played 165 career games for Green Bay and ranks second
in franchise history for the most games played by an offensive
tackle behind only Forrest Gregg, who played in 187. Clifton was
selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2010.
Marshall Newhouse played well enough in Clifton’s absence last
year that it wasn’t a sure thing that the veteran would get his job
back when he returned near the end of the season. Clifton started
the Packers’ playoff loss to the New York Giants but was replaced
by Newhouse in the third quarter.
Speaking at NFL meetings last month, Packers coach Mike McCarthy
told reporters there was ”definitely a possibility” that Clifton
would stay with the team but said it ultimately would be a medical
”He’s someone we’ll continue to talk about and get the
reports,” McCarthy said at the time. ”He’s down in Tennessee now,
so we’ll see how he recovers.”
With Clifton gone, the Packers’ options at left tackle for next
season include Newhouse and Derek Sherrod, last year’s first-round
draft pick. Sherrod is recovering from a broken leg in the Packers’
Dec. 18 loss at Kansas City.
The Packers also could consider moving Bryan Bulaga from right
With the draft set to begin with the first round Thursday night,
Clifton’s future isn’t the only major decision facing the Packers
this offseason. There also is uncertainty over the future of safety
Nick Collins, who sustained a season-ending neck injury last year.
It’s not clear if Collins will be able to return.
There also has been speculation that the team could part ways
with veteran receiver Donald Driver, although McCarthy said at the
league meetings that the Packers ”absolutely” still had room for
”I thought Donald, the second half of the season, he played
very well,” McCarthy said. ”His role, as far as opportunities,
was not as high as it’s been in the past, but I thought Donald was
very consistent down the stretch.”