Report: Chad Clifton to Visit the New England Patriots This Week

James DiMaioCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18:   Chad Clifton #76 of the Green Bay Packers during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Finding themselves a bit thin at offensive tackle, the New England Patriots are kicking the tires on two-time Pro Bowl tackle Chad Clifton, according to a report from ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde:

[Chad Clifton], whom the Packers cut in April after he failed his physical in advance of the offseason program, is en route to New England for a physical with the Patriots...Clifton only played six games last season because of a hamstring injury he suffered on Oct. 9 at Atlanta and a back injury he suffered during rehab. Clifton underwent offseason back surgery and said he was feeling good at the time of his release. He made it clear after being cut that he did not intend to retire.

Assuming he is healthy and still has some gas left in the tank, the 36-year-old veteran would be a tremendous boost to a Patriots' offensive line that has struggled early in training camp, most notably against the New Orleans Saints in a preseason game last week.

With starting right tackle, Sebastian Vollmer, still trying to recover from a lingering back injury, the Patriots may be eying Clifton as his replacement for the 2012 season, or perhaps they'd feel more comfortable with Clifton at left tackle and moving second-year tackle Nate Solder over to right tackle (where he performed admirably in 2011).

However you slice it, the former Green Bay Packer would likely fit in well in New England's pass-first offense. Having protected quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers' blind side throughout his career, Clifton certainly has the track record to suggest that he can keep Tom Brady upright.