I dont think its a normal wear part, normally not replaced when doing steering cable. and there shouldn't be any slop, if I'm accurately picturing what you describe. redid cable on last boat and IIRC the clamp hold the cable so that the cable and rudder have a good working angle through the full stroke of the cable. shouldn't move around at all.
take it apart. if it needs to be replaced it will be obvious. Do your cable while your in there