Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst wouldn’t say whether Jordy Nelson was offered an opportunity to stay in Green Bay on a restructured deal.
“I think Jordy is a really good player, and you certainly don’t want to let him walk out there,” Gutekunst told beat writers Tuesday night, via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “But this is a big puzzle. There are limitations, and you can’t keep everyone.”
The Packers G.M. talked to Aaron Rodgers after deciding to release Nelson, but Gutekunst wouldn’t reveal anything about the conversation. Gutekunst, though, did allow that Nelson’s career in Green Bay likely is over after 10 seasons.
“These are tough days when you have to release a player who means so much to your organization, to your team,” Gutekunst said. “Jordy Nelson is one of the great Packers who have played here.”
Nelson, who was scheduled to make $9.25 million in base salary and count $12.5 million against the cap, turns 33 in May. He made only 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns last season when Rodgers missed nine-plus games with a broken collarbone.
Still, Nelson is expected to find a healthy market with several teams in need of receiver help.
“I think it’s only natural as players get older, you see some physical decline,” Gutekunst said when asked whether he had seen decline after Nelson’s knee injury in 2015. “But I think Jordy is a very good player. He’ll contribute for somebody next year.”