5 Reasons the Packers Won't Regret Keeping Driver
His experience, personality and skills on the football field will all be reasons why he helps the team through another successful season.
The team restructured Driver's contract on May 29 so that they could afford to bring him back another year, as noted by ESPNMilwaukee's Jason Wilde. The receiver elatedly announced the news on his Twitter as well.
Tweeps: when I said I will be a Packer for life. It is now true. Packer for life.— Donald Driver (@Donald_Driver80) May 30, 2012
This decision was in the Packers' best interests and here are the five reasons why.
5. He Keeps the Fans Happy
There is no denying that Donald Driver is a fan favorite.
Take this story for example, via ESPN.com, that happened at a charity softball event Driver hosted.
The Green Bay Packers' receiver attempted to throw one of his cleats to a young boy in the stands, but the shoe was pried out his hands by a woman in the crowd.
Driver got wind of this, found the boy through Twitter and gave him several pieces of memorabilia much more valuable than a dirty cleat.
This is just one of many instances that show Driver's kindness and compassion. He will be a fan favorite long after he retires, so the Packers are wise to let him go out on his own terms.
4. He Helps the Young Receivers Develop
While Donald Driver's physical skills have clearly declined, his presence in the locker room is invaluable.
Last season, Jordy Nelson took over his role as the No. 2 receiver. Wide receiver is a position that features many prima donnas, but Driver in no way fits that description and took this demotion with class and dignity.
Not only that, but he was still constantly supportive and always willing to help the young receivers on the Green Bay Packers' roster.
Driver's presence is a catalyst toward improvement for the young and talented receivers. For this reason alone, management's decision to bring him back was a good one.
3. Aaron Rodgers Trusts Him
Just like the young receivers, Aaron Rodgers was once a young Green Bay Packer who was welcomed and befriended by veteran Donald Driver.
Now, the two men have forged a successful professional relationship as well.
Although Driver's role in the offense was drastically diminished this past season, Rodgers clearly still places a high level of trust in the receiver.
Driver was thrown at just 57 times last season, according to Pro Football Focus, and he caught seven touchdowns. Every eighth pass Rodgers threw to Driver was a touchdown.
When the play mattered most, Rodgers looked for Driver. Expect a similar ratio of targets to touchdown this season.
2. His Spot on the Roster Is Not That Important
The only real concern about keeping Donal Driver on the roster is that his spot could go to one of the young, up-and-coming receivers.
However, Driver will almost certainly be the fifth receiver this year and he will see limited action.
The bottom line is that Driver's role on the field will be one that is not crucial to the offense's success.
His veteran savvy will allow him to come in cold on plays and not make mistakes, and as noted earlier, his presence in the locker room is a huge boost to the team as well.
1. He Can Still Play
The best reason for the Green Bay Packers to keep Donald Driver is that they are holding on to an excellent fifth receiver.
The team has the deepest receiving corps in the league, and Driver is one of the reasons why.
He's a fantastic route runner still, even if he cannot create the same kind of separation he used to. He is sure-handed and still extremely difficult to bring down.
He had 40 catches for seven touchdowns last season. If he equals those numbers this coming year, the Packers' investment will look very smart.