Chad Clifton

Well, they certainly took their time about it.

In a move that’s been expected for months, the Green Bay Packers released veteran left tackle Chad Clifton.

In 2011, Clifton was injured for most of the season, playing in only six regular-season games because of back and hamstring problems. When he was healthy, Clifton was a shell of his former self. He returned for the Packers first playoff contest and was re-inserted into the starting lineup only to be pulled for Marshall Newhouse.

Those factors, coupled with a salary north of $5 million, made this move essentially a no-brainer for the Packers.

The team released this statement.

“Chad is a great Packer and has been an integral part of our success over the past 12 seasons,” Thompson said. “He was a member of some of the most prolific offenses in team history, but more importantly, he is a great person and teammate. We thank Chad for all that he has given the Packers on the field and in the community and wish him and his family well.”

Clifton appeared in more than 170 games for the Packers over 12 seasons.