With veteran left tackle Chad Clifton reportedly failing a physical last week, the Green Bay Packers have decided it’s time to move on … and at 1 p.m., the announcement that Clifton was released by the team was made.
With Marshall Newhouse, who played the bulk of last season at the position and second-year lineman Derek Sherrod coming off a broken leg, the Packers do have players who can step in and compete for the job.
Clifton was set to earn a base salary of $5.25 million and had bonuses of $249,975 (roster bonus) and $250,000 (workout bonus).
If there is a silver lining in all this, it’s reported that Clifton’s salary cap figure of $5,703,125 will be wiped off the books. With the savings from this, the Packers will be well on their way to having enough money in the coffers to sign the rookies who will be selected both through the NFL Draft this week, but also those undrafted who sign after the draft.
Clifton played in 165 career regular-season games for the Packers in addition to 13 postseason games. He made two Pro Bowls (2007 and 2010).
My guess is he will be a Packers Hall of Fame candidate.
The Packers public relations department’s full release is as follows:
PACKERS RELEASE T CLIFTON
The Green Bay Packers have released T Chad Clifton. The transaction was announced Monday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.
Clifton, who was selected by the Packers in the second round (No. 44 overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft, went on to appear in 165 games with 160 starts at left tackle during his 12-year career in Green Bay. He ranks No. 2 in franchise history for the most games played by an offensive tackle behind only Forrest Gregg (187 games). Clifton was selected to the Pro Bowl twice during his career (2007 and 2010) and blocked for five of the top eight single-season rushers in franchise history (Ahman Green, 2001-03; Ryan Grant, 2008-09).
Clifton helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in eight of his 12 seasons in Green Bay and was a part of top-10 offenses in nine of those seasons. From 2000-11, he was a member of offensive lines that allowed a total of 350 sacks, good for No. 3 in the league over that span. Clifton helped limit the opposition to a franchise-low 14 sacks in 2004 as the Packers did not allow a sack in eight games, another single-season club record. He played on eight playoff teams in Green Bay, highlighted by the 2010 squad that won Super Bowl XLV.
“Chad is a great Packer and has been an integral part of our success over the past 12 seasons,” Thompson said. “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 family well.”