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Donald Driver announces his retirement

Donald Driver AP

Well, if the Vikings are interested in Donald Driver, it’s clear now that they’re going to have to go in another direction.

The Packers announced Thursday morning that the veteran wide receiver was retiring as a member of the team, with a ceremony planned for next week.

“I played my entire career in Green Bay and have always enjoyed a special bond with the fans,” Driver said in the team’s release. “I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers organization.”

Driver’s about to turn 38, and he was reduced to volunteering for special teams duty just to be on the active roster on game days in the postseason.

He finished his career with 743 catches for 10,137 yards and 61 touchdowns, all for the same team that took him in the seventh round of the 1999 draft.

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63 Responses to “Donald Driver announces his retirement”
  1. 7ransponder says: Jan 31, 2013 8:26 AM

    As a Vikes fan, I am relieved.

    Don’t get me wrong, great guy, great player, but his time has passed and I’m pretty certain he wants to retire a Packer. Good on ya Donald, best of luck in your future endeavors!

  2. richcranium2112 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:27 AM

    ‘Double D’ is one of the greatest, classiest, and most selfless players in the NFL. From barely making the team to becoming someone who will go down in Packers history as one of the best! Cheers DD!

  3. tessluvsfootball says: Jan 31, 2013 8:30 AM

    Thank you DD for so many wonderful years. A class act all the way. Your smile will be missed. Come back and be a coach.

  4. dolphan23 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:31 AM

    Great career for a man that’s come a long way! Best of luck

  5. imsmartyouarenot says: Jan 31, 2013 8:39 AM

    Thanks Donald, you gave us your all. You will be missed on the field, but you will always be part of the family.

  6. vltrophy14 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:40 AM

    There’s no way Driver would ever play for the Vikings. Even if he did want to play another year. Here’s hoping Driver will still show up at Lambeau Field from time to time for an occasional autograph. GO PACK GO!!!

  7. vikescry1 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:44 AM

    one of the toughest wideouts to play the game, never afraid of going over the middle. all class on and off the field. you will be missed DD, best wish’s on retirement.

  8. jimthebuilder27 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:44 AM

    Class act, good to see him retire from the team that made him who he is. Enjoy your retirement Donald, look forward to tou being inducted into the Packer Hall of Fane one day :)

  9. purplepride1978 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:45 AM

    As a Vikings fan I would prefer younger talent anyway. But I do want to congratulate Donald Driver for having such a successful career and thank you for your contributions to the NFL and the NFC North rivalry.

  10. curlypacker says: Jan 31, 2013 8:48 AM

    Driver is a class act. Best wishes in retirement.

  11. christine5014 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:49 AM

    Good luck in your future!

  12. Troll_toll says: Jan 31, 2013 8:49 AM

    Donald Driver will go down as one of the greatest Packers of all time. The man grew up harder than most can imagine, yet he became a great role model and is a total class act. We love you DD, thanks for so many great memories. Best wishes to you and your family, enjoy your retirement. Go Pack Go!

  13. gbmickey says: Jan 31, 2013 8:50 AM

    Donald was one of the Packer greats in both ability and character. We will miss you.

  14. jbl429 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:51 AM

    Great career, and great numbers for a receiver taken in any round, let a lone the 7th.

  15. dabears2485 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:53 AM

    I won’t miss his celebrations after every catch, but I will miss his drive and YAC. That dude is a beast for a smallish guy.

  16. uwsptke says: Jan 31, 2013 8:54 AM

    Always been a class act. When the Packers released William Henderson a number of years ago at the end of his career, he said the Vikings also wanted to sign him. But he just couldn’t bring himself to do it either.

    Very glad that he and Chad Clifton were able to get their rings before riding off into the sunset. Keep smiling, Donald.

  17. burnz1379 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:56 AM

    good.. cause i think the vikings would have been dumb enough to sign him… So he did us a favor, and hopefully we’ll stop trying to sign old washed up players

  18. packerbackernj says: Jan 31, 2013 8:57 AM

    DD was a true professional and a team-first guy. I have nothing but respect for this man and wish him all the best luck in whatever he chooses to do post-nfl. Thank you for the great memories, Donald. You will be missed.

  19. purplepillager says: Jan 31, 2013 8:57 AM

    The Vikings never had any interest in Driver. He’s a good player and a great Packer but clearly past his prime.

  20. 49erstim says: Jan 31, 2013 8:58 AM

    What a class act Donald Driver is both as a player and as a man. Enjoy your retirement Mr Driver and I hope you are able to find that second venture in your next stage of life that satisfies you. Good luck.

  21. lambeauleaper says: Jan 31, 2013 8:59 AM

    This guys was one class-act. Classiest guy in all of football and a helluva player. You will be missed. Thanks for the memories and playing with HEART!

  22. packattack1967 says: Jan 31, 2013 9:03 AM

    Is there anything in sports better than that Donald Driver smile in the end zone on a Fall Sunday afternoon in Green Bay? I think not. Thanks for the memories all, my friend.

  23. cmstrick says: Jan 31, 2013 9:03 AM

    Good news, here. Donald was the consummate Packer, and he’s made the right decision. I’ll miss seeing him in Green and Gold, but it’s better than seeing him languishing in purple.

  24. conormacleod says: Jan 31, 2013 9:04 AM

    Really? The Vikings were never interested. The info came from a GB tv station. And Driver said he could be any other teams #1 or #2 WR. Which is why he is retiring of course! Good career. But it’s over. No team was going to sign him.

  25. packh8er says: Jan 31, 2013 9:04 AM

    And just like that, the Vikes’ plan to pry Favre out of his coffin and come back 1 more year goes up in smoke.

  26. kwwkkwwk says: Jan 31, 2013 9:07 AM

    Congrats on a great career and Thank You DD! Class act all the way. Stay with the Packers orginization in some way if you can please

  27. pillowporkers says: Jan 31, 2013 9:12 AM

    As a Vikings fan, I can’t help but say I respected this guy as much as any other Packer I can remember. There is nothing bad you can say about the guy. His toughness in going over that middle was unprecedented. Great career Donald Driver! Best of luck to you!

  28. ctattles says: Jan 31, 2013 9:23 AM

    Who do you guys think was the better player, Antonio Freeman or Donald Driver? Lets go thumbs up for Freeman, thumbs down for Driver.

  29. jerrykill4pres says: Jan 31, 2013 9:34 AM

    I’m a vikings fan here, and i have to say, i couldn’t agree more with richcranium2112.. He said earlier that Donald was one of the greatest, classiest, and most selfless players in the NFL. It’s nice to see a player like that, have a great career, never an attitude problem, and stay true to one team. Donald was a good reciever. He had a good career, and made alot of memories in the NFC North. Won a ring, and now chose to move on.

    You can really appreciate and be thankful for guys like him. Now he’s walking away with good health after the years of entertainment he gave us. Whether we are a Packer fan, or a fan of another team. It’s always nice to see a player walk away and on to future endeavors in good health with a ring. Guys like him deserved that ring!

    Good luck Donald. And thank you for the great career, class and leadership you have shown over the years.

  30. noeffinway says: Jan 31, 2013 9:44 AM

    Just how much hate would cheesehead nation throw at DD if he signed with another team?? He remembers what happened with Favre’s legacy in GB when he did that……..Donald ain’t no fool. Packer fans are funny that way.

  31. leroysbutler says: Jan 31, 2013 9:44 AM

    Why can’t all NFL players conduct themselves on and off the field like DD did.

  32. vikescry1 says: Jan 31, 2013 9:44 AM

    Vikings most definately wanted him, that’s what they do. Sign or try to sign ex packers. Darren sharper, ryan longwell, favre, aaron kampman, and ferguson the wideout

  33. glac1 says: Jan 31, 2013 9:52 AM

    a true class act… the league needs many more players like him with his attitude and he will be greatly missed…..

  34. jimmysee says: Jan 31, 2013 10:00 AM

    Put his number 80 up there in Lambeau with the other greats.

  35. baxman89 says: Jan 31, 2013 10:07 AM

    It’s pretty bad if Packer fans influenced his decision. Their selfishness knows no bounds. It’s as if they feel they own Packer players. Seriously, the fans here in Wisconsin can be warped at times. Regardless, DD was a YAC machine and ill always remember when Favre used to fireman carry him out of the endzone.

  36. originalsteelcurtain says: Jan 31, 2013 10:14 AM

    Dancing with the Stars claims another victim!

    Hines’ career was over after lifting the mirror ball.

    I admired Driver’s toughness..he was a Pro’s Pro.

  37. fargovikesfan says: Jan 31, 2013 10:29 AM

    Vikes were never interesed in him… Greg Jennings on the other hand would look really good in purple.

    Driver definitely a class act, and did enjoy watching him play.

  38. mazblast says: Jan 31, 2013 10:50 AM

    Driver is and was a pro’s pro, a credit to the game, and, dare I say it, a role model for NFL wideouts. He’s living proof that the 7th round is not a place to throw a pick away. You never know when you’re going to come across a gem like DD.

  39. Ponder This says: Jan 31, 2013 11:12 AM

    This is a big change from two days ago when he said he could be a #1 receiver for three more years. I guess that was as phony as the Vikings’ supposed interest in him.

  40. themagicfanguy says: Jan 31, 2013 12:09 PM

    I hope he goes into broadcasting, would be better than most of the ex-players they get these days. Good fortune on your retirement Donald, you deserve it!

  41. larrydavid7000 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:44 PM

    so what just an average wr. no big deal yawn.

  42. purplehaze12 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:57 PM

    I wonder how much Ted Thompson paid him to just retire and do promotions for them, rather than play on another team???

  43. stellarperformance says: Jan 31, 2013 1:03 PM

    Driver will be remembered as an all-time Packer favorite for the rest of his life, like Bart Starr and Paul Hornung. He will be the well-deserved Packer ambassador Favre thought he was too good for.

    And please don’t compare the two. Even if Driver had signed elsewhere to maximize his career, it would have been done without deception and without the selfish orchestrated effort Favre pulled off.

    Favre was a great football player, but that is all. Driver is a great man.

  44. judsonjr says: Jan 31, 2013 1:24 PM

    I think my most memorable Driver moment was when they played the Falcons in the 2002 playoffs. The Packers were down, and their offense had been decimated by 3 or 4 injuries at RB/WR during the game.

    Because they were so short at WR, Driver continued to play with broken ribs despite the Packers being down 3 scores in the 3rd quarter. He lasted until Favre hit him with a laser in the ribs. He caught the pass for a TD despite not being able to even get up after the catch.

    That gave the Pack some faint hope of a comeback, but with Driver out that meant that guys like Karsten Bailey and 99 year old Eric Metcalf were lining up at WR..and thus is it was game over.

  45. larryboodry says: Jan 31, 2013 2:25 PM

    As a Bears fan, I have nothing but respect for this guy…A class act all the way, both on and off the field…The NFL needs more players like Donald Driver, I wish him luck in retirement.

  46. bleedinpurple says: Jan 31, 2013 2:40 PM

    As a Vikes fan, I am also pleased to see he is retiring and not coming to the Purple side.

    He was always a great receiver and killed us in so many games, but he was always a class act when doing so. Can never hate a guy like that.

    Hope there’s a broadcast/analyst position for you somewhere DD.

  47. shaggytoodle says: Jan 31, 2013 2:44 PM

    Thanks for the wonderful years in GB. I truly hope he gets a job doing analyst, if that’s what he wants to do. I would rather see him doing shows. Then other people. Preferably one that has all ready announced his retirement after his last game on Sunday.

  48. soytureyna says: Jan 31, 2013 2:48 PM

    The man is loyal, unlike some former (expletives) who shall remain nameless. We will miss you DD, but looking forward to seeing you on TV. Maybe you can can announce our games instead of Troy Aikman.. please and thank you.

  49. kennyrogerschicken says: Jan 31, 2013 3:45 PM

    Great career and great person. Randy Moss should take a lesson from Driver and learn the meaning of the word ‘humble’ – dude was a class act and brought it every game without overshadowing the team.

  50. stellarperformance says: Jan 31, 2013 3:50 PM

    purplehaze12 says:
    Jan 31, 2013 12:57 PM
    I wonder how much Ted Thompson paid him to just retire and do promotions for them, rather than play on another team???
    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Hummmm. My guess is nothin’.

  51. deltaoracle says: Jan 31, 2013 4:10 PM

    Relieved he decided to go this way, just as Urlacher should go out a Bear. But even if he’d left the Pack. he would’ve done it in a classy way just as Kampman did. With his million watt smile, Driver will do very well as an advertising pitchman, and he’ll always be loved all over Packer Planet.

  52. smitastic says: Jan 31, 2013 4:17 PM

    Donald Driver watched and learned from the guy before him, who destroyed his legacy for at least the near term by not retiring a Packer. What a great person and player, congrats!

  53. purplehaze12 says: Jan 31, 2013 5:01 PM

    By this logic, Favre should have retired as a Falcon.
    Are we forgetting that Atlanta traded him away, and so did Green Bay.

  54. cobaltdriver says: Jan 31, 2013 5:05 PM

    Green Bay had no choice but to trade him..what else can you do with a screaming ,kicking child?

  55. stellarperformance says: Jan 31, 2013 5:17 PM

    People, people, people. Leave Favre out of this discussion. There is no comparison. It has nothing to do with Favre playing for the Jets or the Vikings or the fact that he was traded.

    Favre orchestrated his own departure by pretending to retire so he could fool the Packers into giving him an unconditional release, so he could play for the Vikings…a team he identified as his last best chance to win a SuperBowl.

    It was all about him. He could care less about his teammates or the fans. If you think his feelings for the Vikings and their fans is any different, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

    Does that resemble Donald Driver in any way shape or form?

    The Viking fans that keep harping on Favre…you can have him. Name your kids Brett. Save pictures of his dick on your iphones. We don’t care. He doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in conjunction with Donald Driver.

  56. 7ransponder says: Jan 31, 2013 6:05 PM

    stellarperformance says: Jan 31, 2013 5:17 PM

    He doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in conjunction with Donald Driver.

    ————————-

    I know what you’re getting at here, but I think it’s a tad shortsighted. Are Driver and Favre even in the same CONTINENT when it comes to class, hell no, we can all agree with that. But in terms of pure football, Driver likely wouldn’t have become the favorite he is today without that slack jawed yokel slinging passes to him making him look damn good. Many times the only difference between a good receiver and a great receiver hinges completely on the guy tossing him the ball. Driver (along with Pack fans) should count himself among the lucky to have 2 great QBs in a row to keep him going.

  57. tokyosandblaster says: Jan 31, 2013 6:24 PM

    Ponder This says:
    Jan 31, 2013 11:12 AM
    This is a big change from two days ago when he said he could be a #1 receiver for three more years. I guess that was as phony as the Vikings’ supposed interest in him.

    And as phony as the Vikings chances of winning anything in the next decade.

  58. larryboodry says: Jan 31, 2013 6:27 PM

    @7ransponder:

    Slack-jawed yokel, huh? As a Bears fan, I’m not disagreeing, but something tells me he was not so reviled in Packerville until he dared to take his talents elsewhere.

  59. monkeyboymotors says: Jan 31, 2013 7:06 PM

    I just wish he would have given all us fans a chance to say goodbye !

  60. trapshoot says: Jan 31, 2013 8:55 PM

    What a great Packer and what a class act in all respects. Too bad there aren’t more professional athletes like him. He will be missed in Green Bay.

  61. axespray says: Feb 1, 2013 11:53 AM

    So happy we got him a Superbowl Win …
    Dude was one of the few bright spots in some tough years (05, 06, and 08) – completely unselfish in helping Jordy/Greg/Jones in developing. Driver rules.

  62. gopackgocausecowboysblow says: Feb 1, 2013 12:55 PM

    5 greatest packers of all time:

    1. Bart Starr
    2.Ray Nitschke
    3. Reggie White
    4. Don Hutson
    5. Donald Driver

    These five in my opinion had class both on and off the field. Represented the Packers, the city of Green Bay and the state of Wisconsin as well as could possibly be expected. Donald Driver we thank you!

  63. Frazier28/7 says: Feb 1, 2013 8:10 PM

    Some Packer fans are amazing in their hatred for the Vikings… celebrate Driver for all he’s done and acknowledge that it has nothing to do with your greatest enemy.

    Funny how the Packers vs Bears was the best rivalry until #4 decided to put on Purple!

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