The Green Bay Packers, one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, have struggled to find success in recent years. However, they have found a new lease on life with the emergence of their trio of young receivers.
The jordy nelson is a former Green Bay Packers wide receiver who was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2015.
Donald Driver, unlike many other professional sportsmen, understood when it was time to retire from the game. After the 2012 season, the former Green Bay Packers outstanding wide receiver took the selfless way, allowing the team’s younger talents, such as Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and James Jones, to shine. After making a commitment to Packers supporters, he chose that route.
Donald Driver was one of Green Bay’s most talented players.
Green Bay Packers’ Donald Driver on the sidelines versus the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on October 14, 2012. | Getty Images/Thomas B. Shea
Driver, a seventh-round selection in the 1999 NFL Draft, didn’t have high expectations coming out of Alcorn State. Driver needed three years to establish himself as one of the most reliable wide receivers in the NFL. He recorded a total of 37 catches and three touchdowns in his first three seasons, scoring one touchdown each year.
Driver really broke out in 2002, when he had his first of seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons and his first of three Pro Bowl appearances. He has 70 receptions for 1,064 yards and nine touchdowns in 2002. Driver moved from being a reliable player to one of the best in the league in 2004.
From 2004 through 2009, Driver had a 1,000-yard season every year. He also turned out to be one of the game’s most durable receivers. From 2002 until 2011, he missed three games. In 2006 and 2007, Driver earned two more Pro Bowl appearances to his résumé.
Donald Driver kept his word to Green Bay Packers fans.
When asked about his thoughts on the #Packers’ business choices, Donald Driver stated that following the 2012 season, the team informed him they wanted to move in a new path. “I believe that if you remain around too long, you miss out on the chance to offer someone else the chance.” pic.twitter.com/imW5whvDlj
August 22, 2021 — Rachel Hopmayer (@rachelhopmayer)
When Driver made the tough choice, he was 38 years old and still playing at a high level.
“I had my discussion at the end of the year, and they said, ‘Hey, Donald, we want to move in a new direction,’” Driver recalled to NBC 26. “‘At the age of 38, you’re still playing at a good level. ‘How do you intend to proceed?’
“I replied, ‘Well, I guess I’ll have to have a look around the place.’ At the moment, I adored my receivers. ‘Fellas, I’m going to retire and I’m going to let you guys have the show,’ I said as I went up to J.J. (James Jones), Jordy (Nelson), (Randall) Cobb, and Greg (Jennings) who were already departing. ‘I’m going to leave.’
“They invited me to perform in other cities. ‘Come play with me,’ Greg said when he signed with Minnesota. I explained to him that I had promised the supporters that I would never wear another hue. As a result, I was able to walk away knowing that I was giving my younger receivers a chance to shine and show off their skills.”
Driver might have stayed on as a mentor, depriving the younger Green Bay receivers of playing time. He had the option of playing somewhere else. He realized his time as the Packers’ go-to man was over, so he selflessly handed up his position and refused to play elsewhere.
In 2017, Driver was named to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
For his efforts on and off the field, Driver was a fan favorite in Green Bay. On the field, he had 743 catches for 10,137 yards and 61 touchdown grabs in 14 seasons. Off the field, he endeared himself to Green Bay fans and continues his community service. Every year in the city, he hosts his famous charity softball game. In 2017, he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.
Driver is the kind of athlete who can tell when it’s time to go. He was a unique player, and his selflessness and devotion to the club that selected him with the 213rd overall selection in 1999 set him apart from many other professional players.
Others who extend their aging careers, he added, “I believe we hang about too long.” “I don’t believe you lose what you have, but I do believe you lose the chance to give someone else a chance.”
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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