He’s 34 years old, going on 35 in a couple of weeks, and he’s due $4 million next season (plus $3 million as a roster bonus).
Not the numbers you want to hear when you’re thinking of a rising team’s number two receiver.
Donald Driver has recently said that he’d like to keep playing in the NFL until he’s at least 40. While that’s a fine goal, it’s growing less and less likely that he will be able to retire as a Packer, if he does in fact continue aiming for this goal. Read more…
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Apparently Donald Driver is 25, getting paid less than the veteran’s minimum, and just came off of a 1,400-yard and 12-touchdown season.
No? Then the dude is out of his ever-loving mind.
Reports have Driver, 34, staying away from Green Bay’s OTAs, as he is apparently unhappy with his current contract and wants a new deal.
Of course he does.
Driver is seeing the end of the road, folks. He knows there is young, fresh talent behind him in Jordy Nelson and James Jones, and he knows the end is near.
He has become aware of the fact that he’s half a poor season or one big injury away from never starting for Green Bay again, much less any team.
Whether you’re a Packers fan or not, it’s obvious Driver has been underrated, under appreciated, and undervalued for pretty much his entire career.
However, when the guy is due over $6 million this year, it’s time to put a stop to the pity parade.
If we look at this logically, Driver is making something out of nothing. He’s already getting the money he deserves. He just wants more.
For Ted Thompson, for the fans, and for the rest of the NFL, it’s obvious what the real reason is.
This isn’t a Latrell Sprewell moment. Driver can feed his kids just fine.
This is about insecurity, as well as the inside knowledge that his game has begun to slip. Driver was never the fastest receiver, and he’s clearly lost some speed over the past two years.
As reliable as he was over the years for Brett Favre, he actually developed a quiet reputation for his “triangle catch,” or timely dropped passes that killed drives and sometimes even games.
However, when he showed up to training camp with his shirt tied in a knot, revealing his abdomen, and flashing that “I’m paid more than I’m worth” smile, Packers fans still were in love with him.
But patience is wearing thin.
Is Driver still capable of performing at a high level and running at the No. 2 spot? Sure.
But wasn’t Brett Favre still capable of guiding his team effectively? Yes, and quite honestly, he was doing it at a higher level than Driver had ever done it at his own position.
So, after Green Bay moved on from the legendary Favre, why should Driver be any different?
The answer is, he won’t be.
This contract dispute isn’t really a dispute at all. It’s just a desperate plea from a man who can see his career in his beloved city coming to a crashing halt.
Nelson and Jones are likely to be filtered into the offense more, and the aging Driver is bound to be phased out, rendered to the slot, and eventually cut.
That’s why he wants more money. Not just for now, but for the future as well.
He wants to ensure he’ll be in Green Bay and starting for another three years.
Unfortunately, that won’t be happening. That wouldn’t be happening even if he never demanded a new contract.
Regardless, Driver went about this the wrong way, and the “end” that was closing in on his Green Bay career just got a little closer.