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Packers assistant Tom Clements not returning for 2017 season

Tom Clements will not return to Green Bay next season.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Rookie Minicamp Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

After returning to the NFC Championship Game following a one-year absence, the Green Bay Packers don't plan to make any sweeping changes this offseason. However, head coach Mike McCarthy announced Thursday that long-time assistant Tom Clements "is going to move on to some other interests."

Clements joined the Packers in 2006, becoming one of the original members of McCarthy's coaching staff in Green Bay. Clements began as the team's quarterbacks, first instructing Brett Favre and later Aaron Rodgers with whom he built a strong relationship. In 2012, Clements replaced Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator.

Clements' big break came in 2015 when McCarthy promoted him to associate head coach and handed him offensive play-calling responsibilities. That year, the Packers struggled badly on offense, finishing near the bottom of the league in most categories for the first time since the pre-Mike Holmgren era. Accordingly, McCarthy reclaimed the play sheet and has called the offense since. After such a high-profile professional foible, it seemed unlikely Clements would return for the following season.

But Clements did, again as the associate head coach though with an unclear role. Alex Van Pelt has assumed the role of Rodgers' position coach and close confidant on the coaching staff while Edgar Bennett has served as the team's offensive coordinator over the last two seasons.

McCarthy did not clarify whether Clements chose to leave Green Bay voluntarily. As most Packers assistants work under two-year deals and Clements likely had his contract redone when he received his promotion in 2015, it appears most probable that he became a free-agent coach this offseason. As such, one or both parties determined the time to part company had arrived.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. He covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.