After playing for 10 years with the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver Jordy Nelson can’t help but feel a little hurt by the way the relationship came to an end.
Nelson was released by Green Bay before the start of free agency and he elected to sign with the Oakland Raiders in the ensuing days. The Packers asked Nelson to take a significant pay cut in order to remain with the team. However, it appears as though his salary wasn’t the only that would have been cut had he remained in Green Bay.
“I think the number was part of it, but also the conversation I had in the meeting,” Nelson said on ESPN Milwaukee, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “I met with (General Manager) Brian (Gutekunst) and had a discussion because I had to get a feel for not just the pay cut but what their plans were going forward. After that meeting, there wasn’t, I don’t think, much desire there. I think with the combination of both, we decided what was best for myself and my family [just] as they decided what was best for them and the Packers.”
Nelson seemingly acknowledged he would have been open to some sort of adjustment to his contract to facilitate an agreement to remain with the Packers. But when the team “really, really low-balled” him, according to former teammate James Jones, it made it clear there wasn’t much of a desire across the table for the relationship to continue.
“I think the hurt part was, to be honest, was the unwillingness to try to make it work,” Nelson said. “But then again, it’s a business, and they have to do what they think is best. What they need to do is to be able to move forward and prepare for the future of the Packers. But I think that was just part of it, but that’s the way it is. I’m definitely not the only one that’s been cut or released when you don’t think it’s going to happen, and it’s not what you want to hear when you go into a meeting with them. But we’ve moved on.”
Nelson posted 1,000 yards receiving four times in his tenure in Green Bay and recorded double-digit touchdowns on three separate occasions. However, he caught just 53 passes for 482 yards and six touchdown with the Packers last year and averaged less than 10 yards per reception for the first time in his career. The absence of Aaron Rodgers certainly factored into that equation as Nelson caught six touchdowns in the team’s first five games with Rodgers before putting up a goose egg the remainder of the season.