Chad Clifton (born June 26, 1976 in Martin, Tennessee) is an offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Packers in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
In 1995, Clifton enrolled at the University of Tennessee and redshirted his first year. From then on he was a fixture on the offensive line, starting one season at right tackle and three at left tackle. During these four years, the Tennessee Volunteers enjoyed great success with a 43-7 record and a win in the Fiesta Bowl following the 1998 regular season to claim the National Championship. Clifton was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection and a second-team All-American his senior season, during which he was also a team captain.
Green Bay PackersEdit
During the 2000 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Clifton in the second round with the 44th overall choice.
Halfway through his rookie season, he took over the starting left tackle position and did not relinquish it thereafter. He enjoyed continue success during his second season when he established a reputation as one of the NFL's best and unheralded blindside blockers.
Clifton's 2002 season seemed as promising as his first two until November 24 when he suffered a severe pelvic injury after receiving a blind hit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Because the incident occurred after an interception with Clifton far from the play, Sapp received harsh criticism for his action. After the game, Sapp was involved in a profanity-laced argument with Packers coach Mike Sherman that was caught on camera. As a result of the injury, Clifton missed the rest of the season. He was hospitalized for almost a week and could not walk unaided for five more weeks. In 2005, the NFL Competition Committee agreed on new guidelines for "unnecessary roughness", making hits such as that suffered by Clifton illegal.
Clifton returned in 2003 to start all 16 regular season games and two more in the playoffs. He played all 1,031 offensive snaps that season and contributed to establishing a team record for fewest sacks allowed in a season (19).
On January 23, 2008 it was announced that he would replace Seattle Seahawks tackle Walter Jones in the 2008 Pro Bowl. It was his first Pro Bowl. He went to Hawaii to the Bowl with teammates Donald Driver, Aaron Kampman, and Al Harris, as well as head coach Mike McCarthy. Brett Favre was scheduled to be in the Pro Bowl, but was replaced.
On March 5th, 2010, the Packers resigned Clifton to a 3-year, $20 million dollar contract, with $7.5 million guaranteed.
Clifton was released by the Packers on April 23, 2012 after failing a physical.