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. With the Packers, he won Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
|Born:||June 26, 1976|
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||320 lb (145 kg)|
|High school:||Martin (TN) Westview|
|NFL Draft:||2000 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Clifton was born in Martin, Tennessee. 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. In addition to football, he 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 team lost in the state playoffs in his junior and senior years to Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee, whose offensive coordinator was former 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. He started one season at the right tackle position and three at the left tackle position. During these four years, the Tennessee Volunteers enjoyed great success with a 43-7 record and a win in the Fiesta Bowl over Florida State 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 PackersEdit
During the 2000 NFL Draft, the Packers selected Clifton in the second round with the 44th overall pick.
Halfway through his rookie season, Clifton took over the starting left tackle position and would remain there for the rest of the season. He enjoyed continued success during his second season when he established a reputation as one of the NFL's best and unheralded blindside blockers for Brett Favre.
Clifton's 2002 season seemed as promising as his first two. However, on November 24, he suffered a severe pelvic injury after receiving a blindside 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, when Packers head 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 games 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 with 19.
On January 23, 2008, it was announced that he would replace Seattle Seahawks tackle Walter Jones in the 2008 Pro Bowl, which was his first career Pro Bowl. He went to Hawaii to the Pro Bowl with teammates wide receiver Donald Driver, defensive end Aaron Kampman, and cornerback Al Harris, as well as head coach Mike McCarthy. Clifton's quarterback, 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 three-year, $20 million contract, with $7.5 million guaranteed.
Clifton had a successful season in 2010, which culminated in his second career Pro Bowl nomination.
On April 23, 2012, Clifton was released by the Packers after failing a physical.
Clifton did not sign with another NFL team after his release.
- "Chad Clifton". Green Bay Packers. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
- "Chad Clifton". Tennessee Volunteers. Archived from the original on January 24, 2001. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- "NFL to vote to end 'unsuspecting' blind-side hits". ESPN.com. March 15, 2005.
- "Garcia, Schobel, Dockett, Cole, Albright added as injury replacements". ESPN. January 24, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- "Super Bowl XLV - Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers - February 6th, 2011". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.