2011 was probably the final year for Chad Clifton with the Packers. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Source says Packers' Clifton gone, Driver's contract to be restructured

Adam Czech of AllGreenBayPackers.com is citing a source who told Yahoo.com’s Jason Cole (how’s that for hearsay?) that the Green Bay Packers will cut left tackle Chad Clifton, but will work with longtime and popular wide receiver Donald Driver to bring him back with a restructured contract.

Cole is the only one reporting this, according to Czech, and Ted Thompson admitted yesterday at the Scouting Combine that he always has and will continue to keep personnel decisions and future plans close to the vest.

However, this rumor is probably pretty close to reality and it doesn’t surprise us because it’s long been said that Clifton has played his last game with the Packers. However, the popular sages have said that Driver’s willingness to rewrite his contract and to come back and compete for a spot on the team sits well with the Packers brass.

Driver, who is is the all-time leading receiver with the Packers is scheduled to make $5 million in 2012, but he came out a couple of weeks ago saying he still wants to be a part of the team and would come back for fewer dollars. In his statement, he said at this point in his career it’s not about the money.

Though Driver has said he wants to play until he’s 4o, it’s highly unlikely he would make it onto the Packers roster for tore than another year. That’s a distinct possibility but probably the limit. There is simply too much talent on the team at the wide receiver position to continue to pay a near-40-year-old millions … no matter how popular that player is.

Should the Packers win another championship next season and Driver is still on the squad, no doubt he  would see the handwriting on the wall and would call it quits. But who knows with Driver? We all know about his competitive drive … when he quits will certainly be up to him.

Clifton, the aging left tackle who has had a hall of fame-type career with the Packers, is due $5.25 million next year … an amount the Packers clearly won’t be willing to pay, especially in light of Clifton’s injury history. He missed more than half the season last year with a torn hamstring and back problems.

So, depending on various factors, including the draft in April, the Packers more than likely will make some changes that will involve these two longtime and popular players.

We await Ted Thompson’s closely held secrets to play out.

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Tags: Chad Clifton Donald Driver Free Agency Green Bay Packers NFL Draft Ted Thompson

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