Chad Clifton in 2011.
|Date of birth:||June 26, 1976|
|Place of birth:||Martin, Tennessee|
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||320 lb (145 kg)|
|High school:||Martin (TN) Westview|
|NFL draft:||2000 – 2nd round – 44th pick|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Jeffrey Chad Clifton (born June 26, 1976) is a former American football offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
Clifton was born in Martin, Tennessee, has two brothers and twin sisters. Former Packers first round draft pick Justin Harrell is also from that city. At Westview High School in Martin, Clifton was an all-around athlete. He lettered four times in football, starting his last three seasons as a two-way player; he also was on the basketball team for three years. Throughout his high school years, Clifton played on the defensive tackle position and on tight end as a sophomore and offensive tackle in his junior and senior years. As a senior, he was named an All-American by Parade and Scholastic Coach magazines and received the Gatorade Circle of Champions "Player of the Year" award and Tennessee Class 2A Mr. Football lineman award. Clifton's Martin Westview team lost in the state playoffs in his junior and senior years to Briarcrest Christian in Memphis, whose offensive coordinator was current Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze.
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 (1997 second team, 1998 first team) and a Sporting News second-team All-American as a senior.
Green Bay Packers
During the 2000 NFL Draft, the 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 continued 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 blindside hit from the Tampa Bay Bucs 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, when Packers coach Mike Sherman told Sapp that his play was uncalled for, Sapp began angrily shouting at Sherman in a tirade that was caught on camera, with Sapp famously screaming "put a jersey on". As a result of his injury, Clifton missed the rest of the season, 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 by Jeff Garcia.
On March 5, 2010, the Packers re-signed Clifton to a 3-year, $20 million contract, with $7.5 million guaranteed.
Clifton was released by the Packers on April 23, 2012 after failing a physical.
- "Chad Clifton". Green Bay Packers. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- "Chad Clifton". Tennessee Volunteers. Archived from the original on January 24, 2001.
- New rule would fall under unnecessary roughness
- "Garcia, Schobel, Dockett, Cole, Albright added as injury replacements". ESPN. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
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