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Driver Will Take Pay Cut, But Do Packers Want Him?

Donald Driver

Donald Driver sounded like a guy who played his last game for the Green Bay Packers when the season ended and with good reason. He’s 37, coming off one of his worst statistical seasons as a pro (37 catches, 445 yards) and has a salary cap number of $5 million for 2012.

The writing is on the wall, particularly with the emergence of Jordy Nelson. At the time, Driver insisted he would play in 2012, if not with the Packers, then elsewhere. Now, it looks like Driver is making one last effort to stay in Green Bay, saying he’ll take a pay cut to do so.

“The organization knows what I’ve done on and off the field, and they want to keep me around as long as possible,” Driver told WISN TV. “If that means sitting down and taking pay cuts to stay around, then you take pay cuts to stay around. I’ve always said it’s not about the money for me anymore.

“What I’m pushing for is for my legacy to stay around in the state of Wisconsin and around the world forever. So the money’s not a big issue.”

Driver is due a $2.2 million roster bonus in March, which will likely be the biggest problem for the Packers. If the team can eliminate that and lower Driver’s base salary, there doesn’t seem to be any reason they wouldn’t take him to training camp.

Although, he’ll probably be fighting for the team’s fifth receiver job, behind No. 1 Greg Jennings, No. 2 Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb, who, entering his second season will surely get more opportunities.

The real question is, will the Packers bring Driver back at the expense of one of their young receivers? Mike McCarthy has traditionally kept only five receivers and the team has both Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel waiting in the wings on the practice squad.

The team will move on from Driver sometime soon. Although his leadership is invaluable, this may be the year no matter how hard he makes it for the team.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. iltarion February 11, 2012

    I am fine with this either way. It would be great to have DD back, obviously at a lower cap number. However, Cobb needs more looks and Gurley should make this team next year.

  2. peter February 11, 2012

    Personally I hope they can keep him sure a valuable locker room figure.

    Thoughts of maybe trading James Jones for high draft pick or d-line player then having both the young guns as 5 wr and special teams

  3. nurseratchett February 11, 2012

    Iltarion, I know you & others will rip me for this, but DRIVE MUST STAY. He’s still enough of a threat to catch balls when other receivers are drawing double coverage.

    His locker room presence is invaluable. You’ll NEVER see Donald Driver tweeting some billshit about not getting enough looks then dropping 4 passes the next game….

    Driver should be allowed to retire a Packer. Yes, this is mostly sentimental, not at all about the business of football, but if sentiment has no place in Green Bay Packers football, then why do so many who post here have their meaningless stock certificate proudly framed on their wall?

    1. brooksnelson87 February 12, 2012

      Agreed. I hope the Packers keep Driver ’til his mid fifties. His sure-handed play during the loss to the Giants was about the only thing that kept me from throwing my tv out the window.

  4. Xavier February 12, 2012

    I would also keep Driver!

    In the Giants game when Jennings, Finley, Nelson and co are dropping the ball left right and centre. Driver was there catching the ball like he always does. IMO he can still be a starting reveiver, its not like hes lost higs legs and he cant run, the only reason his numbers were down was because his oppourtunities were also down.

  5. BubbaOne February 12, 2012

    The Packers have a salary cap issue. They’re $4M under the cap. If TT tags Finley ($5.5M), signs Wells ($5-7M), and Bush ($1M+) where do they come up w/ the offset? Granted Clifton, Collins et al may be gone but will that be enough? DD is due $5M, he would have to take less than $2.5M for TT to even think about it.

    Enough has been said re Cobb, Gurley, Borel, and even Smithson getting a chance.

    If the issue was only one of roster spot or salary cap maybe DD stays. It being both PLUS a further decline in skills brings me to say…DD has probably played his last game w/ the Packers.

  6. Cory February 13, 2012

    I am a huge DD fan and have been sporting a #80 jersey for quite some time. He exhibits all that a professional athlete should on and off that field.

    That being said, got to remember, Tori Gurley turned down a contract offer from the Vikings to stay on the practice squad. Think we ponied up some more cash as well. That suggests to me that TT see’s something in him, his size(6’4″ & 216lbs) and his potential future with the Packers.

    Hate to say it as DD is a class act and an all-time favorite Packer to me….but I don’t see how we can pass on the future with Gurley and the other younger receivers. I would love to see DD retire a Packer……but I struggle to see it working out that way.

  7. Chas February 13, 2012

    Hey if we can keep 17 Tight Ends on the squad there better be room for the all time leading reciever. Aside from that he is still good enough to play.

  8. David February 13, 2012

    It’s a numbers game for money, age and roster spots.

    Driver has to go and Gurley gets his shot at being the #5 receiver next year. They’ve likely made a promise to him that he’ll be on the roster next year… if they don’t live up to that promise then they will be 1) untrustworthy 2) seeing Gurley leave.

  9. andrew February 13, 2012

    We need to keep DD here in green bay, i realize there are younger guys on the roster but i’m sorry gurley and borel really didnt show anything too exciting that they should make the roster this next year and come on jones, he’s starting to turn into a randy moss type pre madonna we dont need that on our team and he’s not that great the only catches he had this last season were wide open catches cause the opp d didnt know what to do with jennings, dd and jordy

  10. Anurag December 8, 2012

    Me too FMM. The Oline is crucial and tohingt TJ should play a full 3 quarters at LG. He needs the work prior to NO in the opener.I humbly suggest that Sherrod play LT starting in the 2nd qtr and continuing through the 3rd qtr. The 2nd most important need for the line is a game ready backup for Clifton. To use the old Boy Scout moto, Be prepared. And finally I’m getting concerned about Neal. Very little info available and a continuation of sitting out practices and games.No Al, I’m not going to use that unmentionable comparison. Even though, we’re all thinking about IT.