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Driver puts the ball in the Packers' court

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Donald Driver made it perfectly clear: He has no plans to retire and wants to continue his career, preferably in Green Bay. Less clear, however, is whether the Packers will want their all-time leading receiver back. He will be 37 years old on Feb. 2 and has slipped down the depth chart. The Packers have several other young receivers waiting in the wings for increased opportunities (Randall Cobb) or waiting for the chance to make the roster (Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel). ďThe thing is, itís not up to me,Ē Driver said as players cleaned out their lockers following Sundayís 37-20 loss to the New York Giants in an NFC divisional playoff game. ďIf they decide to keep me, then Iíll come back. If not, I guess Iíve got to go somewhere else to play. But thatís always been my goal, to retire here, and itís going to up to them to make that decision.Ē Driver may find the market tough. Not many teams want a 37-year-old receiver, especially one who was fifth on his team in catches with 37 ó his lowest total since 2001. His average yards per catch of 12.0 was the second-lowest since his rookie season of 1999. He had three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown against the Giants, but the Giants used a linebacker to cover Driver, at times, an indication they didnít think he was dangerous. ďIíve always said I wanted to play until Iím 40,Ē Driver said. ďMy goal is to just continue to play. I feel like I played at a high level this year. Didnít get the opportunities that I always wanted, but I made the best of my opportunities.Ē Money will be an issue. Driver is due a roster bonus of $2.2 million. Itís unclear whether thatís due in March at the start of the league year or later in the season. Heís also scheduled to make a $2.6 million in base salary. Plus, he has a $200,000 roster bonus. Itís hard to imagine the Packers paying Driver a total of $5 million next season. Driver said he wouldnít harbor any ill will toward the Packers if they decided not to bring him back. ďIf the Packers donít want me, Iíve got to go somewhere else and play, I donít have a choice,Ē Driver said. ďIím not ready to hang the cleats up. My wife feels like I still got it. I feel like I still got it. If my family feels that way, then Iím going to continue to play. Itís up to the organization to make that decision. I hope they keep me. If not, I had a great career here. I love them, and that will never change.Ē  

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