The Green Bay Packers made a good-faith effort to keep receiver Donald Driver around this season by restructuring his contract. If they hadn’t done so, he likely would have been cut since nobody pays a No. 4 or 5 receiver $5 million per season.
The contract, which substantially cut into Driver’s salary, made several things pretty clear. One of them is the Packers expect Driver to ride off into the sunset after the season is over.
Donald Driver has not received that memo.
On Wednesday Driver said he plans to play two more years.
“I’m going to play two more years, this one, then next year, then I’m completely done,” he said. “(I’m) gonna put my cleats on the shelf and do something different.”
“I’ve always said I wanted to retire a Packer,” Driver went on, “and now I get that opportunity to retire for, as I always say, the best franchise in the world.”
Has anyone seen What About Bob?
Although we love Driver, this dude is pretty much bending the Packers over a barrel and pulling their pants down with crude intentions on his mind.
First, the issue of too many receivers is well documented. The Packers have seven legitimate NFL receivers. They’ve traditionally kept only five on the final roster. One of those guys — Randall Cobb — needs to be on the field more often. Two more — practice squaders Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel — are going to be on another team’s roster if not the Packers’.
So the first issue is, the Packers will have to sacrifice at least one youngster with a hell of a lot more upside than Driver just to keep the vet around this year.
Second, there’s the public relations issue. After winning Dancing With The Stars, Driver has never been more popular. The Packers front office puckers their collective butthole every time someone mentions the PR disaster brought on by the Brett Favre situation. If the Packers part ways with Driver before he’s ready to go, they’re going to have some angry fans on their hands. That’s an especially uncomfortable situation for a small-town, image-conscious organization like the Packers.
So the second issue is, by publicly stating he wants to play two more seasons, Driver puts the Packers in the unenviable position of either using a roster spot on a guy past his prime or dealing with the PR fallout of parting ways with another long-time fan favorite.
Thanks a lot, buddy!