The Green Bay Packers announced the release of longtime left tackle Chad Clifton on Monday afternoon.
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," 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 family well."
The release of Clifton will free up over $5.7 million of salary cap room for the Packers, with the NFL Draft coming up later this week.