The Green Bay Packers do not appear interested in re-signing free agent wide receiver Donald Driver this off-season and, considering the veteran wanted to retire with the same team he spent his entire career with, it looks like another legendary chapter is about to close in Titletown.
A source close to Driver told USA TODAY that the 14-year veteran “is leaning toward retirement” and that the “announcement could come as soon as next week”. However, the anonymous source also stated that Driver “hasn’t made a final decision” on whether he will hang up his cleats.
The soon-to-be 38-year-old saw limited action this past season as he appeared in 13 games but only hauled in eight receptions for a measly 77 yards and two touchdowns. It is hard to fault head coach Mike McCarthy for not utilizing Driver as much as he has in the past, considering Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross have emerged as talented wide receivers. Not to mention, the Packers the Packers will most likely bring in more wide receivers to compete against Boykin and Ross for what is expected to be two wide out positions next season.
The most unfortunate part about this is that Driver was well respected in the Green Bay community and many fans did not want to see him retire before his desired age of 40. However, the NFL is a business and the Packers have to do what is in the best interest of the team. The last thing Green Bay wants to do is lose one of their top wide receiver prospects to free agency because they were too afraid to let Driver go.
Many players would have liked to see Driver go out on top, but at least he did get a Super Bowl ring, something so many great athletes in the Packers organization never got a chance to achieve over the years. He will go down as one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the franchise as his name will appear along the likes of Don Hutson, Sterling Sharpe and James Lofton. Driver will end his remarkable career as the Packers all-time leading receptions (743) and receiving yards (10,137) leader.
The four-time Pro Bowler will be remembered long after we are gone because fans in Green Bay will never let his name go unsung along with legends such as Reggie White, Brett Favre and Bart Starr. It will not be long before Driver is inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and maybe one day he will even have his name next to Favre’s on the ring of honor inside Lambeau Field.
If this is the final goodbye, then it was a great ride. Driver would most certainly agree with that. How many people outside of Jerry Rice can say they played with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks over the course of their career? Hopefully, his achievements will be enough to garner him some votes down the road for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If they do not, then that will be just fine because Driver has already been given everything he could have ever asked for.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.