The book is closing on one of the greatest individual chapters in the history of the Green Bay Packers.
Receiver Donald Driver, who holds team records in receptions and receiving yards, will officially retire from the NFL during a formal announcement next Wednesday at Lambeau Field, ending a 14-year run in Green Bay that included a Super Bowl win in 2011.
“I played my entire career in Green Bay and have always enjoyed a special bond with the fans,” said Driver, in a press release to Packers.com. “I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers organization.”
The announcement is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 11:00 a.m. CST in the Lambeau Field atrium, and fans are invited to attend. A small number of tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be free of charge.
Driver will be joined by president and CEO Mark Murphy, general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy.
An unknown and lightly-regarded seventh-round pick (213th overall) of the Packers in 1999, Driver went on to set franchise marks in receptions (743), receiving yards (10,137), 1,000-yard seasons (seven), consecutive games with a reception (133), receptions at Lambeau Field (363) and receiving yards at Lambeau Field (5,000).
Only Brett Favre played more games for the Packers than Driver's 205, and his 61 touchdown receptions will finish third in team history.
Driver won his one and only Super Bowl ring in 2011, when the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. Driver was a part of six NFC North division-winning teams and made three Pro Bowls in 14 seasons.
Off the field, Driver was just as productive.
Driver and his wife created the Donald Driver Foundation, which serves and assists sick children both in Wisconsin and across the nation. He made numerous other charitable appearances, marketed products across the state and won the reality television show Dancing with the Stars in 2012.
"It’s been a great pleasure getting to know Donald over these years," Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr said. "His contribution to the history of the Green Bay Packers has been extraordinary. I am honored to congratulate him on all of his achievements on and off the field.”
Driver, who turns 38 on Saturday, told ESPN Radio Thursday morning that the decision to finally hang up the cleats was a difficult one.
"It's always difficult, especially when you feel you can still play the game," Driver said. "There's other things out there. There's the next chapter of your career and I'm ready for it."
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