The season has yet to begin, and the questions surrounding Donald Driver’s future continue to be asked.
After an off season of contract questions and Dancing With the Stars, Driver is set to rejoin the Packers on a newly restructured one year deal, worth a reported $2.5 million when training camp begins in a few weeks. While still a productive wide receiver, Driver is clearly on the downside of a brilliant career, and no longer one of the main targets for Aaron Rodgers in the passing game.
A top physical specimen who is relentless in keeping himself in top condition, Driver has stated in the past that he wants to play until he is 40, and that sentiment was repeated again last night.
Speaking from the red carpet at the ESPY awards, Driver reiterated his desire to play until 4o.
“I’m going to play two more years, this one, then next year, then I’m completely done…(I’m) gonna put my cleats on the shelf and do something different.”
Considering the somewhat perilous off season Driver just went through, with questions surrounding his future in Green Bay being asked on an almost daily basis, this seems like a bold statement for Driver to be making heading into Training Camp.
While his desire to want to continue to play is admirable, is it possible this statement was made to make the Packers front office take notice of his desire to further his playing career?
I might be reading into this simple statement far too much, but Driver could be looking for some type of commitment from the Packers beyond the 2012 season. And while this may not be the case, it could very well be the intent when Driver said this.
One would like to think that Driver realizes his place on the roster, that he no longer has to be “the man” even though he will always be “the man.” That his skills, although still worthy of playing time, are not what they once were, and there are other options on the roster which are more of a threat than his are. Add to this his age (37) and that is what makes his comments curious.
The Packers will have some tough choices with regards to Donald Driver in the future. They already made one when they decided to bring him back when they could have easily cut him. Making a long term commitment to an aging player might be a different story, even if the player wants to keep playing.
Driver has previously said he would not leave Green Bay the way another all time great did. Comments like the ones he made yesterday make me wonder if there is at least the possibility that this may indeed be the case. Let’s hope his future does not turn into that.
Filed Under: John Rehor