Friday, March 5, 2010
Packers delay offensive line transition
By Kevin Seifert
Perhaps you've seen this report from ESPN's Adam Schefter: Green Bay has re-signed left tackle Chad Clifton to a three-year contract that includes $7.5 million guaranteed.
The deal came amid reports that Clifton was visiting Washington, which is looking for a new left tackle following the retirement of veteran Chris Samuels. Did the visit loosen the Packers' purse strings? Or did Clifton merely realize he didn't want to leave Green Bay? Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggested the latter rationale earlier Friday. We might never know the truthful answer to that question, but in the short term it means the Packers won't be transitioning their left tackle position in 2010.
As we've discussed recently, the Packers are in a difficult situation. Clifton has struggled at times during the past two years and is nearing the end of his career, but the Packers have no obvious replacement on their roster. I don't think anyone considers T.J. Lang a short- or long-term answer at the position. It's possible the Packers will draft a starting-caliber left tackle next month, but obviously there are no guarantees.
Now the question is whether the Packers will re-sign right tackle Mark Tauscher or whether they will turn the position over to Lang. Part of the difficult situation is that Tauscher might have more career longevity than Clifton -- but the need to retain the incumbent was more acute at Clifton's position.
I have a feeling that this post wouldn't be complete without the near-obligatory "stay tuned."
Two other quick Packers notes from Friday: The team released defensive end Mike Montgomery and safety Matt Giordano.