Veteran wide receiver wants to return to the Packers in '12
Donald Driver told reporters at the 38th annual Three Harbors Council Boy Scouts Leadership Breakfast in Milwaukee last Friday that he’d be willing to take a pay cut in order to stay with the Packers. The 37-year-old wide receiver is due a $2.2 million roster bonus next month – money he will obviously never see. Whether general manager Ted Thompson has interest in bringing Driver back at any price remains to be seen. Veterans Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and James Jones are all ahead of him on the depth chart and young Randall Cobb needs to play more from scrimmage in 2012.
If Driver is willing to work for the league minimum (which is still $925,000 for a 13-year-veteran), Thompson must then decide whether it makes sense to keep a descending player – even one as respected as No. 80 – around as the No. 5 receiver. That seems unlikely. Most teams prefer keeping a young prospect with upside and the ability to contribute on special teams in that role. And the Packers have two such players on the current roster. Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel both impressed enough on the practice squad to earn significant raises when other teams offered spots of their active rosters.
As for the comments the other day, I found them to be a bit self-serving. Sure Driver was just being honest, but at the same time he put Thompson in a very difficult spot. Severing ties with such a beloved player was never going to be easy. It’ll be even tougher now. After all, what kind of GM would release one of the franchise’s greatest players after said player so selflessly offered to work for next to nothing? The answer, of course, is easy. The best kind of GM. The kind of GM who can push sentimentality aside when it comes to building a team. Fortunately, Green Bay has just such a man.