There are several Packers legends that left their mark in Green Bay in a heartfelt manner. Now that you know about the lives of Donald Driver, Chuck Cecil, and Gilbert Brown, here are three more well-known Packers that we might all be familiar with!
The speedster behind Ahman Green in 2005, Samkon Gado became an instant sensation the minute he stepped foot on Lambeau Field. He was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs undrafted in 2005 then later made his way to Green Bay as a result of their atrocious season. He was brought in for a workout during the year and coaches were blown away by his 4.43 40-yard dash time. As soon as Packers star Running Back Ahman Green went down, Samkon Gado came in and impressed. A week after getting only one carry against the Cincinnati Bengals, coaches were amazed at Gado’s production against a strong Pittsburgh Steelers defense. He finished with 23 carries for 62 yards. Comparable to other running backs, that stat isn’t the most impressive, but to come in as a player given no chance to shine, Gado showed sparks of potential when he was given the opportunity.
As the weeks progressed, Gado became the starting Running Back and ran for two straight 100-yard performances. He was also known for his humble personality and politeness after thanking his Offensive Lineman for helping him score his first touchdown. Gado’s year ended with an MCL injury against the Baltimore Ravens and the Packers finished the 2005 season with a 4-12 record. Samkon Gado will always be remembered for his speed and humbleness on the field. Today, Gado is currently in med school at Saint Louis University studying to be an ENT, primarily working with patients that have head and neck cancer. He hopes to open his own hospital in his home country of Nigeria someday. From football to med school, Samkon Gado has sure made a positive impact in Green Bay, even if it was only for a few stretches of games in 2005.
Nick Barnett was selected 29th overall by the Packers in the 2003 NFL Draft. Shortly after he was drafted, Barnett signed a 5 year/$6 million contract with the Packers which included a $3.21 million signing bonus. During his time in Green Bay, he put up quite the numbers and progressively got better each year.
In 2003, he finished with 86 solo tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 interceptions. Within four years, he became one of the best Linebackers on the Packers, resulting in a 6 year/$34.85 million extension in 2007. On July 26th, 2011, Barnett was informed by Ted Thompson that the Packers were putting him on the market for trade. Unfortunately, they could not find a suitor, so the team made the choice to release Barnett just two days after putting him on the trade market. He spent eight seasons with the Packers and left right before they won the Super Bowl in 2011. Today, Nick Barnett resides in Carlsbad, California with his wife and three children. After retiring from the NFL, Barnett’s transition into retirement took some time to get used to. He currently puts on his own speed and agility clinics for kids at a local park where he lives. Barnett has always had a passion for sports and even during his retirement, he makes sure to keep those hobbies in his life. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest Linebackers in the Brett Favre era.
Chad Clifton made his debut with the Packers halfway through his rookie season after an injury to the offensive line. He took over at the Left Tackle position and after his second year, Clifton became one of the league’s best attack blockers for Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre. During the 2002 season, Clifton took a blindside hit from NFL legend Warren Sapp and suffered a severe pelvic injury, sidelining him for the rest of the season and hospitalizing him for a week. This was Clifton’s worst injury of his career and he was unable to walk without assistance for quite some time. He returned to play in 2003 and helped the Packers reach the playoffs with the fewest sacks allowed. In 2005, the NFL introduced a new rule where “unnecessary roughness” like Clifton’s hit was illegal. In 2008, he was invited to his first Pro Bowl, replacing Walter Jones, Seattle Seahawks Tackle. After the 2010 season, he made his second Pro Bowl. Clifton was also a part of the Packers’ 31-25 Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011. In 2012, Clifton was released by the Packers after a failed physical and did not sign with another team after. Today, Chad Clifton lives a happy life like any other regular human being in the world. He will still receive comments about that hit from Warren Sapp from people joking around. Words like, “Hey Chad, Warren sure hit you good didn’t he?” In 2016, Clifton entered the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. The two time Pro Bowler will always be remembered for his hard work and stepping up for a struggling offensive line.
The Packers have gotten lucky to have such a humble group of legends rep the city of Green Bay. Samkon Gado played just one season and was later traded to the Houston Texans after week one in 2006, but his presence made a positive impact on every Packer fan’s lives, even though it was only for a short amount of time. Nick Barnett quickly made a name for himself after spending eight seasons with the Packers and kept sports in his life after retiring with the team. Chad Clifton’s potentially career-ending injury did not stop him from playing the game he loves. There are several legends who have worn the famous green and gold. Samkon Gado, Nick Barnett, and Chad Clifton are just some of the names that Packer fans will always think of when watching games today.