It's been a rather busy day for the NFC North today. The Chicago Bears signed All-Pro defensive end Julius Peppers and former Viking Chester Taylor and the Detroit Lions made a big splash by landing their own All-Pro defensive end, Kyle Vanden Bosch and another former Viking Nate Burleson, along with acquiring former Packer Corey Williams from the Cleveland Browns.
To counter the moves made by their division rivals, the Packers re-signed veteran offensive tackle Chad Clifton. Clifton and the Packers reached an agreement on what ESPN.com reported was a three-year, $20 million deal, including a guarantee of $7.5 million.
It was assumed among most Packers fans that the team would let Clifton go, but all along the Packers were in the hunt for his services. The 33-year-old Clifton did not want to go somewhere else to finish his career and accepted a deal that will pay him slightly more in average pay than his previous contract.
Whatever the case, the price isn't out of line for a veteran left tackle. This isn't a capped year, so the Packers should have plenty of money to spend.
Though it's a three-year deal, Clifton may only be a starter for one more season. The Packers are likely going to use the draft to build up their offensive line, and this could wind up being a transition year for them. Clifton has indicated that he feels he can play three more years and said that with the exception of an ankle injury that caused him to miss four games, his body felt as good as it had over the past couple of years.
Clifton wasn't the dominating pass blocker he has been in previous years, but he was someone coach Mike McCarthy could rely on. If Clifton stays healthy next year, the Packers will be happy with their investment. Job well done, Mr. Thompson.
(picture courtesy NFL.com)