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Clifton Not Retiring Yet, Could Play Again in Right Situation

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Clifton Not Retiring Yet, Could Play Again in Right Situation

When the Packers released Chad Clifton early last week, the assumption was that the veteran left tackle was likely done playing in the NFL.

According to Clifton, however, that may not be the case.

Speaking with ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde Friday morning, Clifton said he's not retiring and would consider playing again if his back checks out and the right situation comes along.

"If there’s interest, we’ll see if I’m interested," Clifton told Wilde. "If it’s the right situation, I think I would."

Green Bay cut Clifton on April 23 after the soon-to-be 36-year-old failed his physical.  The move cleared over $5 million from the Packers' cap. Clifton said he wasn't surprised by the move, made just three days before the NFL draft.

"I knew at some point they would want to get younger," Clifton said. The Packers then drafted Florida State tackle Andrew Datko in the seventh-round, and also have young tackles in Marshall Newhouse, Derek Sherrod and Chris Campbell already on the roster.

Injuries caught up with Clifton in a hurry over the last nine months.

Clifton missed all but six games in 2011 after tearing his hamstring during a road game against the Atlanta Falcons. He returned for the Packers' divisional round loss to the Giants, but head coach Mike McCarthy pulled him midway through in favor of Newhouse.

Clifton later underwent offseason back surgery, which he said erased much of the pain that surfaced while he was rehabbing his hamstring injury. Clifton even attended some of the Packers' early offseason workouts. But his back was what triggered the failed physical, so any team looking into Clifton moving forward would have to take another long look at that injury.

Drafted in the second round of the 2000 draft out of Tennessee, Clifton started 160 games over 12 years in Green Bay.


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philip's picture

*drafted in the second round in 2000

Zach Kruse's picture

Good catch. Thanks.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Ugh. There's the sunset Chad... Ride into it.


Mojo's picture

Well put Fitz. If a team wants Cliffy they have to realize he's a highly specialized offensive lineman - left tackle only, no run blocking preferred.

I guess if plays near the veterans minimum a team might take a flyer on him, else I don't see much of a market. His best chance is to be picked up by a team in need of a mid-season replacement due to ineffectiveness or injury.

A little surprised Cliffy wants to keep on playing considering all the abuse his body has taken over the past 10 years. He should have a considerably amount of moolah stashed away so his passion for the game must be greater than I imagined.

packsmack25's picture

The Ravens got some tread out of Bryant McKinnie's corpse last year, so a team might take a flyer on Cliffy. Although McKinnie is like 4 or 5 years younger.

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