Green Bay Packers: 5 Offensive Players Playing Their Last Season in Green Bay
The NFL is a business, and just like any other business, employees often move to a different company (or team), get fired or retire.
Every franchise is susceptible to changes, and the defending Super Bowl Champions are no different.
Green Bay is one of the few teams that has their lineup pretty well set for the upcoming season.
However, the 2012 season is a completely different story, and many players may not be wearing green and gold when next year rolls around.
It is always difficult to say goodbye, but here are five players who will be playing their last season for the Packers this year.
We will focus on offensive players in this article and defensive players at another time.
Matt Flynn, QB
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Matt Flynn has future starting quarterback written all over him.
The 2011 season is the last season that Flynn is under contract with Green Bay.
Even with limited playing time this year, there should be plenty of interest from teams that are desperate for a starting quarterback.
Ryan Grant, RB
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When Green Bay drafted Alex Green in the third round of this year's draft, it was most likely because they expected to lose Brandon Jackson.
But what if they drafted him to eventually replace Ryan Grant, too?
Grant will be a free agent following the 2011 season, and even though he has been a great back for the Packers, I don't think Green Bay will keep him.
After James Starks proved plenty capable of carrying a full load during the playoffs, Grant became a complement player.
If Alex Green shows promise as a rookie, expect the Packers to let Grant sign a contract somewhere else.
Donald Driver, WR
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As one of the all-time great Packer receivers, it will be hard to watch Donald Driver leave.
It is clear, however, that Driver's play is declining.
After posting his worst statistical season in a long time, things shouldn't get any easier for him this year.
Jordy Nelson had a breakout performance in the Super Bowl and should continue his development. Also, Jermichael Finley comes back from injury, and he is one of Rodgers' favorite targets.
With rookies Randall Cobb and D.J. Williams in the mix too, I don't see Driver putting up huge statistics. I think he calls it a career after his numbers drop even more this season.
Jermichael Finley, TE
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This was the most painful player to write about.
The potential for Jermichael Finley is absolutely stunning, but that potential will be somewhere else in 2012.
If—and this is a huge if right now—Finley can stay healthy for an entire season, he will absolutely separate himself as the best tight end in football. It won't be easy to let Finley go, but the amount of money he will want will be too much for Green Bay.
Remember that Green Bay drafted two tight ends back in April, and D.J. Williams has all the tools to be a special player.
Chad Clifton, OT
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Chad Clifton has been a fixture on Green Bay's offensive line for more than 10 years.
Injuries are beginning to plague him, and he will be 36 years old once the 2011 season ends.
With his increasing age, Clifton should certainly feel like he has had a productive career. Even though he has been to just two Pro Bowls, he has been an extremely consistent left tackle.
With Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod on the team, the Packers appear to have plenty of talent at the tackle position.
Clifton can spend his last year shepherding these younger players and retire knowing that Aaron Rodgers' safety is in good hands.