In possibly the most unsurprising move of the offseason, Donald Driver is seriously contemplating retirement, according to sources close to Donald, per USA Today.
It’s the only logical step for the 14 year veteran. Driver was inactive for 4 games this season. In the 14 games he did play, he only registered 8 catches for 77 yards. When he was in, he struggled to get separation and was frequently matched up on a linebacker.
By the playoffs, it was bad enough he was inactive so Terrell Manning could shore up the special teams coverage in the Wild Card round. Driver was unhappy being in street clothes and volunteered for special teams. In the Divisional round, Driver possibly ended his career playing solely on the punt block team.
Now Driver has always been a fan favorite in Green Bay. His annual charity softball game was a big success. Since the early 2000’s he’s been the positive, public face of the Packers franchise.
On top of that, Driver has enjoyed a very productive career in Green Bay. He has caught 743 passes for 10,137 yards; both make him the franchise leader in each category. His prowess in the slot has given both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers a reliable chains mover. He has also helped develop other receivers in Green Bay since.
In the past two seasons, however, age has caught up to Donald. His role in the offense has diminished with the emergence of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. His speed has diminished and now struggles to get open.
It may pain many fans to hear this, but it’s time for Driver to retire. An NFL team can only carry 53 players at any time. Carrying a 37 year old wide receiver for PR purposes is a waste of resources. When Donald is not on the team, it means they can carry an extra man for special teams, or dress another backup offensive lineman.
It won’t be long before Driver’s no. 80 is retired and he is inducted into the Packers Hall Of Fame. Similarly to Hines Ward, Driver is no where near a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he will always be remembered by Green Bay Fans for ages.