Packers release longtime left tackle Chad Clifton

The Green Bay Packers have experience moving on from marquee players.

And they’re doing it today as the club announced it would release Chad Clifton, the starting left tackle since 2000. He was cut loose after he failed a physical. Clifton had undergone back surgery in January following an injury-plagued season, and his hope was to return.

Chad is a great Packer and has been an integral part of our success over the past 12 seasons,” general manager Ted Thompson said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “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.”

Coach Mike McCarthy has suggested Clifton would be in the mix this season but apparently the physical didn’t produce the results the team needed to see. The move will create a salary-cap savings of just more than $5.7 million.

Clifton started 160 games for the Packers but was slowed last year by a serious hamstring injury and the back issue. Marshall Newhouse spelled him for much of the season and now it’s a question of whether he continues there or the club plugs in Derek Sherrod, the first-round draft pick from a year ago.

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