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Donald Driver says he’ll take a pay cut to stay in Green Bay

Saints Packers Football AP

Packers receiver Donald Driver is 37 years old and coming off his least productive season in a decade, and he realizes that in the business of the NFL, that means the Packers may have a tough choice to make about his future.

But Driver is willing to make things easier on the team by taking less money.

“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, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “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 scheduled to receiver a $2.2 million roster bonus next month, but it sounds like he’ll be willing to give up that bonus so that he can stick around. At this point Driver isn’t worth much beyond a league-minimum salary, but if he’s willing to play for the minimum, the Packers will be in the enviable position of having a veteran presence who’s happy to be a part of the team at any salary.

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65 Responses to “Donald Driver says he’ll take a pay cut to stay in Green Bay”
  1. noeffinway says: Feb 11, 2012 12:28 PM

    Favre made Driver who he was.

  2. robertd4 says: Feb 11, 2012 12:30 PM

    Packers have to bring him back. He is a leader. Besides he was the only receiver to step up against the Giants. He can still play.

  3. jimmysimpson55 says: Feb 11, 2012 12:39 PM

    Time to go Donald. Everyone knows it, including you. You will always be loved.

  4. jhein23 says: Feb 11, 2012 12:41 PM

    Driver was the only receiver to step up because he was covered by a linebacker most of the game. It goes to show you what the Giants thought of him.

    I love want he’s done for the Packers but its time to cut ties. The Packers would actually be a lot more dangerous with fresh legs – Gurley or Borel out there. Driver was 1 of the worst WR in the league this year in YAC. It would also be ecstatic if the Pack could trade James Jones for a 4th or 5th round pick- think the 2 young receivers I mentioned could be just as good for less money.

  5. rexismybff says: Feb 11, 2012 12:42 PM

    I’m just glad for him that he was able to fulfill his quest to be on the first ever 19-0 team.

    Or 15-2. Whatever — same thing really.

  6. canamac86 says: Feb 11, 2012 12:43 PM

    No doubt that Rodgers is the team’s (and the league’s) MVP but Driver is the embodiment of what the Packers are all about. He’s been nothing but a consummate professional, always has played like he has a chip on his shoulder, and has been second to none in his community and outreach efforts. Last year the WR corps petitioned to keep James Jones and I would be surprised if they didn’t do so once more for Drive.

  7. wickerphil says: Feb 11, 2012 12:43 PM

    Nah. Let Donald Driver go so better, younger players – i.e. Randall Cobb – can benefit from the increased playing time. The Packers won the Super Bowl 2 years ago and went 15-1 this season. They need a tailback, a CB, an OL and a (healthy) safety, not “veteran leadership.” It would make some sense were the Packers one of those teams that only had 3 or 4 real options in the passing game, but the Packers had 6 legitimate receiving threats out there (8 if you count the tailbacks) and of those Driver and the RB Starks were the only ones who averaged less than 14 yards a catch.

    Plus, how long does Driver want to play anyway, and why? It is not like he can get back to the Pro Bowl, or build a case for the Hall of Fame (2 Pro Bowls, bordering 11,000 yards, 59 TDs). Yeah, I know, he is probably thinking that the Packers have as good a shot as any at the Super Bowl next year. That’s true, but the Packers have to realize that will have a BETTER shot at the Super Bowl with Randall Cobb in Driver’s #4 WR spot. As for the #5 WR spot … the Packers really need to draft a WR this year because they won’t be able to hold onto Nelson, Jennings and Jones for the long haul. One of those guys is going to be the odd man out.

  8. asublimeday says: Feb 11, 2012 12:43 PM

    As much as I hate the packers, his attitude is refreshing.

  9. jenniferxxx says: Feb 11, 2012 12:48 PM

    Smart move on his part … vet minimum is probably a million or so dollars. The alternatives are getting that somewhere else … or out of football and nothing. Too often declining veteran players leave a lot of money on the table because of ego. Driver is obviously brighter than the average duck.

  10. axlviking says: Feb 11, 2012 12:49 PM

    How can you not love Donald Driver? Sure, he’ll be a 5th receiver at best on this squad with Jennings-Nelson-Jones-Cobb ahead of him, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s pure class.

    If his brain’s as big as his heart, if I’m the Packers front office, this guy retires a Packer…and then gets offered an assistant coach spot.

  11. huskersrock1 says: Feb 11, 2012 12:51 PM

    They should offer him a 1 Million dollar contract, give him 350,000 more than veteren minimum out of respect for his total team contribution over the last 10 years.

  12. rho1953 says: Feb 11, 2012 12:54 PM

    I love the guy. No player represents what is good and ethical than Donald Driver. I would think that he could slide down the depth chart at a more reasonable salary and still contribute. No need to cut him. He is the epitome of a Green Bay Packer. An absolutely perfect public image, the best work ethic imaginable, a great family man. How can you not love Donald Driver?

  13. bouwel92 says: Feb 11, 2012 1:01 PM

    im not a big packers fan but driver has always been one of my favorite players and iys good to no he aint playin for the money he just wants to play for the game we need more players like him in the league but he is gettin old and less productive so i think he has another year or two to keep his legacy goin and green bay probably will keep him around cuz donald driver is green bay

  14. bearsrulepackdrool says: Feb 11, 2012 1:02 PM

    Like Hines Ward, he can take a pay cut all he want but a smart coach will recognize he’s taking up roster space for a young player to develop.

    He ain’t want he used to be and guys like Jordy Nelson & Randall Cobb need the opportunity to develop.

    With that being said, this could all be resolved if the Packers would just fold and Aaron Rodgers retires.

  15. gbfanforever says: Feb 11, 2012 1:03 PM

    I love Driver. He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever seen play his position. I’m surprised his body held up with Favre leading him head on into safeties and linebackers for years. The pack needs to keep him as a role model and teacher for young players. The only problem is that the packers really want to get Tori Gurley on the field and off the ps. I would like to see them make room him by moving Jones and not resigning DD.

  16. staff2cj4td says: Feb 11, 2012 1:04 PM

    what a sad end to his career, he was by far and away the most sure handed receiver the Packers had 2 and 3 years ago, but Rodgers went away from him because he was a Favre guy!

    pretty classless move to diminish Driver’s role Rodgers!!

  17. drschooney says: Feb 11, 2012 1:07 PM

    Make him as assistant receivers coach if he does niot make the final 53 man roster

  18. c1m6 says: Feb 11, 2012 1:07 PM

    GIANTS > packers

  19. Wisconsin77 says: Feb 11, 2012 1:11 PM

    It’s funny how fast some “Packer fans” in this thread thread have turned on Double D saying that he needs to go. Reminds me of how fast some of them turned on Favre.

    Not only is DD still a solid WR, but he is the most mature leader on that team. His value will be both on and off the field.

  20. medtxpack says: Feb 11, 2012 1:21 PM

    True class, I think beyond the pay cut he wont have a problem with Cobb/Jones/Nelson getting significantly more playing time than him.

    Go Drive!

  21. grandsonofcoach says: Feb 11, 2012 1:29 PM

    The problem for Driver might not be money, but position numbers. Packers kept 5 wides last year, and if the keep the same number this year he could easily be the odd man out. The Packers likely want to keep Gurly who won’t last another year on the practice squad and will most likely draft another receiver in the mid to late rounds. I hope they keep 6 for 1 year because I agree they need his effort, influence and leadership.

  22. duanethomas says: Feb 11, 2012 1:31 PM

    Didn’t Hines Ward offer that up to the Steelers? Funny how these guy want to take a pay reduction to hang on for another year at the end, but never in their prime. Why not take a cut then to help with the cap and win a title?

  23. threedeep1998 says: Feb 11, 2012 1:32 PM

    Donald Driver is the only thing “classy” about the Packers. Awful fans, arrogant (but good) QB, completely overrated LB crew, BJ Raji is a joke, and Dom Capers is just lost with that haircut.

    Keep Driver around you morons. He’s the only Packer that could catch a ball against NYG.

  24. ufullpj says: Feb 11, 2012 1:39 PM

    @AxlViking – Driver, I think, has an undergrad in Accounting and an MBA. The guy is smart, and you’re right – GB could use him in some capacity, but I think he’d be great in a role similar to what many teams have, a former player that counsels the young guys on life beyond the field (Rob Davis does this in GB now). Guys like Driver, Matt Birk, John Lynch (when he played) and on down the line….the league would be smart to also employ these guys in similar capacities.

  25. dempsey63 says: Feb 11, 2012 1:46 PM

    It’s all about balance, Wisconsin77.

    An experienced Donald Driver on the decline versus an explosive receiver at the beginning of the learning curve makes for a difficult decision.

    But ask the Dallas Cowboys what happened when they kept a beloved veteran over a talented castaway named Steve Largent. It probably cost America’s Team a Super Bowl or two.

  26. scoops1 says: Feb 11, 2012 1:46 PM

    sad thing is that Driver can still a be #3 WR somewhere in this league:

  27. packercpa says: Feb 11, 2012 1:49 PM

    @Wisconsin77 – Most Packer fans didn’t turn on Favre until he turned on them. DD is so much more of a leader than Favre ever thought he was. DD played and led with his heart and he knows this is a business.

    Reread the posts. Most fans don’t want to see him go, but with the receivers coming up how do you keep your future players off the field. I would love to see us trade James Jones to somebody for a 3rd or 4th round pick, keep DD and carry 6 receivers. Let a couple of young guys see how a true professional like DD and Greg Jennings handle practices and success.

  28. frozeninfear says: Feb 11, 2012 2:09 PM

    Sign him to a three year deal at 1 mil per year. Keep only 2 tight ends. Cut George Bush. Sign LeRoy Butler to coach the defensive backs.

  29. packattack1967 says: Feb 11, 2012 2:16 PM

    Packer Hall of Fame, Ring of Honor maybe Canton. There’s a long list of ‘favorite packers” Don’s on them all.

  30. purpleguy says: Feb 11, 2012 2:20 PM

    He’s old, his skills are declining, he’s got the best QB in the NFL, and he’s made his dough, so I’d say the response is more realistic than classy. With a firm grasp of the obvious already in hand, Driver’s next quote was: “the sky is blue”.

  31. pkrlvr says: Feb 11, 2012 2:20 PM

    gbfanforever, terrible post. Driver and Favre are great friends. Sure he threw into some tight coverage but I’ve never seen him get anyone laid out, let alone do it as often as you insinuate. Your just a bitter ex-fan. You make that obvious in nearly every post.

  32. jimmysee says: Feb 11, 2012 2:21 PM

    If Donald stays — there will be a competiton in training camp to see who is in that receiver group.

    I figure Jennings and Jordy Nelson are pretty much a lock for #1 and #2 — but after that it’s up for grabs.

    Jones, Cobb, Driver, Gurley and Borel can compete for spots 3-5.

    That’ll be a heck of a competiton.

    And if the team ends up carrying fewer than four tight ends — maybe there’s room for six receivers!

    Donald is a lock for the Packers Hall of Fame — and hopefully the ring of honor — #80 should be retired — maybe before Brett’s #4.

  33. pkrlvr says: Feb 11, 2012 2:23 PM

    Love how all you Favre haters act as if you’ve been in the locker room and know how he acted. Favre was arrogant, but always known as a great teammate and fun to be around. So much bitterness since he left:(

    Driver is a class act though. Deserves to retire as a packer and not get run out of town like Favre. Hope that happens.

  34. wickerphil says: Feb 11, 2012 2:24 PM

    duanethomas:

    Position players should take pay cuts “to help the team” in their primes when QBs are asked to do so.

    others:

    It is hilarious. A guy volunteers to play for the minimum salary and you cheer his “character” and “dedication” and “class.” It is proof that most folks simply resent the money that NFL players make (unless they are QBs!) while curiously not holding MLB, NHL, NASCAR, tennis, golf etc. athletes to that same standard, or rock musicians and actors for that matter.

    Driver is 37. He has played for 15 seasons. Randall Cobb is more deserving of his #4 spot, and the Packers need to draft another young WR to develop for the #5 spot. If he wants to play for the minimum salary so badly, let it be for a team that is nowhere near as loaded at WR, like the Vikings, Redskins or Rams. If it is veteran leadership he wants to provide, then the Tampa Bay Bucs need that in boatloads. With the Raiders, Jaguars, Jets and Browns, he could provide BOTH.

    And if he is as important to the Packers organization as you claim, then give him a front office job, or make him an assistant coach … a quality control coach for offense or something.

  35. nflfollower says: Feb 11, 2012 2:31 PM

    Driver is saying this cuz he’s seen how quickly the Packer faithful turn on their “legends” and what happens to legacies in Green Bay….ala Brett Favre.

  36. Wisconsin77 says: Feb 11, 2012 2:32 PM

    packercpa says: Feb 11, 2012 1:49 PM
    @Wisconsin77 – Most Packer fans didn’t turn on Favre until he turned on them

    I don’t recall Favre turning on the fans, I do recall him turning on Ted Thompson. Can you blame him after the TT hires a guy who lied to the world about WMDs in Iraq to orchestrate a smear campaign against Favre, and then trade Favre away from the team he played with his whole career. Favre biggest mistake was unretiring. I forgave him for that in the first minute.

  37. gooboy6 says: Feb 11, 2012 2:37 PM

    Smart man

  38. packerman1968 says: Feb 11, 2012 2:52 PM

    As a Packer fan, I hope we are able to keep Mr Driver for one more year. I have enjoyed his work ethic and his great smile.

    He has earned the right to take a pay cut and stay with the team.

  39. stevenfbrackett says: Feb 11, 2012 2:53 PM

    No one is classier or unselfish than Donald Driver.

    And no one has a more realistic view of himself and his position. He has said many times before that he knows his role is changing. That as time passes, he will be to goto guy less often, in favor of the younger, faster guys and that he will be called on more to be a mentor and example to the guys coming up.

    And he has said he will fulfill whatever role the team needs.

    Pure class and professionalism in everything he does.

  40. johntonioholmes says: Feb 11, 2012 2:58 PM

    I’m a Steelers fan, so I’m dealing with the grief of seeing Ward go, but it’ll be sad day when Driver goes, too.

    He reminded me a little of Ward actually. He was a faster than Ward, but he was a terrific underneath receiver with great hands. Ward was a better blocker, but Driver played the same game and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty either.

    The two guys were just team players. They didn’t have the same skills that Moss and T.O. had, but they did more with their skills than those goes ever did.

    Any team should be honored to have players who work tat hard.

  41. acmepacker says: Feb 11, 2012 4:03 PM

    staff2cj4td says:
    Feb 11, 2012 1:04 PM
    what a sad end to his career, he was by far and away the most sure handed receiver the Packers had 2 and 3 years ago, but Rodgers went away from him because he was a Favre guy!

    pretty classless move to diminish Driver’s role Rodgers!!
    *****************
    Rodgers had nothing to do with it. He spreads the ball around more than most quarter backs do. If you’re open, he’ll throw it. DD didn’t spend the time on the field this year, and that wouldn’t be the fault of Rodgers. Save your hate!

  42. stavreafavre says: Feb 11, 2012 4:10 PM

    Ol’ #4 said – about eight or nine years ago – that every year the Packers try to replace Driver, and every year he plays too well to allow it. He’s near the end, obviously, as far as the NFL goes, but I’d rather see him as the 4 0r 5 WR next season than Jones. The Packers may even have room for 6 WRs if they decide that Finley’s “Potential” is no longer reason enough to keep him around. I think Driver can contribute for one more season.

  43. frozeninfear says: Feb 11, 2012 4:58 PM

    GB has too much passing offense, not enough defense. Keep DD and quietly put Jennings and Nelson on the market. Then trade one of them for the highest draft choice or best deal available. We have to sacrifice one of our great receivers for help on defense. Rodgers can get the ball to Gurley or Cobb. James Jones is not utilized nearly enough. In the Giants game he had one reception for 16 yards. A great talent sitting on the bench most of the time. Cut our losses on Neal. His knee is shot. I’ll bet we can get at least a 2nd and a 3rd this year and a 4th next year for either Jennings or Nelson. Somebody might even cough up a 1.

  44. cubear34 says: Feb 11, 2012 5:22 PM

    This guy is a class act. How much do you think Peyton Manning would five back to stay in indy and help them rebuild? Peyton would rather run his mouth in the press.

  45. chris6523 says: Feb 11, 2012 5:35 PM

    There are a lot of ways to look at this situation if you are the packers. Obviously, the only way Driver comes back is for either the league minimum or perhaps a few dollars above that as a nod to his pride. On the one hand, the pack has a young receiving corps and they don’t necessarily need to have a real young wide receiver as the last guy on the roster in hopes of developing him. It’s entirely possible that the packs top 4 (jennings, nelson, jones, cobb) could all stay with the pack another 5 or 6 years. On the other hand, you never know what happens with injuries, contract disputes, etc. to deplete what looks to be really good depth quickly. Driver does bring intangibles to the pack that are kind of hard to quantify. An example is over the last 3 or 4 years, if a team tries an onside kick against the pack, the most likely result is Donald Driver making the recovery.

    Leroy Butler spoke of wanting to play his entire career with the pack and playing a couple years as a backup at the league minimum salary. That plan didn’t get executed because Leroy sustained a serious shoulder injury that hastened his retirement. Driver and Leroy are pretty close and I’m sure they’ve discussed this a number of times.

    My guess is Driver sticks around and the pack figures out a way to keep 6 wide receivers on the roster for a couple of years (maybe they decide on having 4 tight ends next year).

  46. ambitoos says: Feb 11, 2012 5:58 PM

    I wish VJ would offer to take a paycut to stay in San Diego.

  47. thehatefulnerd says: Feb 11, 2012 6:06 PM

    The Queens and Bares are salivating over him.

  48. smedley61 says: Feb 11, 2012 6:17 PM

    Love Driver to death but Tori Gurley is waiting.

  49. stellarperformance says: Feb 11, 2012 7:13 PM

    If you have stand-up guys like this, making statements like this, it can only end badly for Packers management.

  50. frozeninfear says: Feb 11, 2012 8:33 PM

    Let’s offer to trade Jennings and Jones to Cleveland for their number 22. Then we draft tough defensive players at both 22 and 28. In round 2 we should probably select a left tackle to back up Newhouse. I doubt Sherrod will be available. We may have to clear some cap space and let Clifton and Hawk go. As I mentioned earlier today, we should offer DD a three year deal at 1 mil per year and that money should be guaranteed. Return of a healthy Nick Collins is crucial.

  51. vikescry1 says: Feb 11, 2012 8:48 PM

    i’d rather keep driver and let finley go, with dj smith and the other kid they drafted this lest year (taylor i believe) i’d rather have 6 wideouts on the roster anyway. having 5 tight ends ? i know they they use them as blockers and fullback situations but driver is a valuable piece we can still use. the 2 young wideouts on the practice squad have a lot of potential but there’s no garantee’s. but if driver’s willing to play for less imo you have to find room for him. no matter what happens driver is appreciated in packerland, true class act. thanks driver

  52. leatherface2012 says: Feb 11, 2012 8:50 PM

    i’d like to see him play for league minimum, bet he won’t do that

  53. packercpa says: Feb 11, 2012 9:14 PM

    Wisconsin77 says:
    Feb 11, 2012 2:32 PM
    packercpa says: Feb 11, 2012 1:49 PM
    @Wisconsin77 – Most Packer fans didn’t turn on Favre until he turned on them

    I don’t recall Favre turning on the fans, I do recall him turning on Ted Thompson. Can you blame him after the TT hires a guy who lied to the world about WMDs in Iraq to orchestrate a smear campaign against Favre, and then trade Favre away from the team he played with his whole career. Favre biggest mistake was unretiring. I forgave him for that in the first minute.

    Favre didn’t turn on TT. Favre tried to be the GM and tell him who to pick up as a free agent. I used to respect BF, but after the crap he pulled the last few years of his career in GB, I lost a lot of respect for him. IMO, he manipulated the whole situation and tried to show everybody that he had more power than TT and MM. I hope he goes into the HOF as a Packer, but nothing he does at this point would surprise me.

  54. frozeninfear says: Feb 11, 2012 9:16 PM

    Charlie Peprah is too slow. Our pass defense is a sieve. We have to hire LeRoy Butler to take over as defensive backfield coach. I suspect he knows what must be done. Charles Woodson knows what should be done. If LeRoy doesn’t want the job, let’s offer it to Woodson. If Woodson wants to play another year or two, we should bump up our financial offer to LeRoy until he agrees to sign a contract. We have to have one or the other. We can’t have another year like this past one. It is embarrassing to everybody and frustrating too, especially to the defensive linemen. The opposition continually converted on third and long. What the hell is going on out there. Grab, grab, grab.

  55. trapshoot says: Feb 12, 2012 12:31 AM

    More class than most players in the league ever had / have. Pakers should keep him if at all possible.

  56. The Prophet says: Feb 12, 2012 1:56 AM

    And so the PR war begins just like with Peyton vs. Colts. Driver is smart to do this. he’s making it clear to Packer fans he’s doing everything he can on his part, so when he is cut Packer fans can’t accuse him of being greedy, etc.

    This won’t change the fact that the Packers still won’t keep him, but hopefully Driver will be still be in Packer fans good graces when Driver finally does retire after playing for another NFL team and can earn income for decades from Packer fans.

  57. buckybadger says: Feb 12, 2012 3:30 AM

    It is over for Driver in Green Bay. They want to bring in some younger guys that have been on the practice squad. Two of these guys turned down offers from other teams to stay there [there where compensated as well]. Borel and Gurley will battle for Driver’s spot.

  58. vikescry1 says: Feb 12, 2012 9:15 AM

    why talk about favre? he’s gone, loved him but glad he’s done.

  59. axespray says: Feb 12, 2012 12:40 PM

    pkrlvr says:Feb 11, 2012 2:20 PM
    “gbfanforever, terrible post. Driver and Favre are great friends. Sure he threw into some tight coverage but I’ve never seen him get anyone laid out, let alone do it as often as you insinuate. Your just a bitter ex-fan. You make that obvious in nearly every post.”

    Javon Walker’s knee and Sterling’s neck say otherwise.

  60. packernation90 says: Feb 12, 2012 1:50 PM

    @frozeninfear

    on a side note, you have a shoe size larger than your football IQ.

  61. supersuckers3 says: Feb 12, 2012 7:41 PM

    Why wouldnt he?

  62. packerfanfordecades says: Feb 13, 2012 1:49 AM

    I love Donald Driver.

    I wanted him to catch a decisive score in the SuperBowl last week. Shucks.

    If he can earn a spot in training camp, that would be a thrill …. and then I’ll be hoping he catches a decisive throw in the Feb ’13 SuperBowl.

    God bless you Donald!!

  63. MossMoon2Packers says: Feb 13, 2012 3:06 AM

    I find many Packers fans’ views on loyalty quite funny and ironic. On the one hand, they’re quick to give Driver — a very productive Packer and a man who gave much back to the GB community — the don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out treatment. On the other hand, they are indignant when a Packer (e.g., Favre) wants out because the team won’t let him compete for the QB job.

    But, Packers fans will never be accused of being consistent or intelligent.

  64. bearsoxass says: Feb 13, 2012 6:47 AM

    Donald is the best, he has to stay with us.

  65. boothlustig says: Feb 24, 2012 6:05 PM

    GB cut Hawk last year and resigned him. So cutting Clifton does mean that he will not be on the team come Sept. If Gurley and Borel out play Driver in camp, they are cheaper and play special teams. So Driver may still be cut, just later on in the year. However, GB might be clearing cap for a trade of Flynn.

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