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Packers WR Donald Driver calls it a career

Jan. 31, 2013
 
Mike, Wes and Pete talk about Donald Driver's deci...
Mike, Wes and Pete talk about Donald Driver's deci...: Mike, Wes and Pete talk about Donald Driver's decision to retire from the Green Bay Packers
It's official. Donald Driver will retire as a Green Bay Packers player, the team announced Thursday morning. / File/Gannett Wisconsin Media

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Donald Driver, one of the most popular and productive receivers in Green Bay Packers history, has decided to retire.

The team announced his decision this morning, and Driver will make a formal announcement next week during a ceremony that will be open to the public.

It will take place Wednesday at the Lambeau Field Atrium at 11 a.m.

“I played my entire career in Green Bay and have always enjoyed a special bond with the fans,” said Driver. “I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers organization.”

Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, General Manager Ted Thompson and Coach Mike McCarthy will attend the event and are expected to speak.

Fans are invited to the announcement. A limited number of tickets, free of charge, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in person at the Packers’ ticket office at Lambeau Field, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. Distribution will be limited to four tickets per person.

Driver is the Packers' all-time leader in receptions (743) and yards (10,137) and will go down as one of the great success stories in franchise history.

He entered the NFL as a little-known seventh-round draft pick from Alcorn State. He played little his first three seasons, catching just 37 passes from 1999-2001, but he became a starter in 2002 and immediately blossomed. That season, he posted the first of seven 1,000-yard receiving years, which is unmatched in team history. He posted six straight 1,000-yard seasons from 2004-09.

He ranks second in team history in games played (205) behind only Brett Favre.

He will fall short of his stated goal of playing until he's 40. He's 37 and played 14 NFL seasons. His role was greatly reduced in 2012, when he agreed to take a pay cut to play the final year of his contract. He caught just eight passes for 77 yards in two touchdowns in 13 regular-season games. He was inactive for the playoff opener against Minnesota and played only three snaps on special teams in his final game, the playoff loss at San Francisco.

Already a fan favorite, Driver's popularity grew last offseason, when he competed on -- and won -- the made-for-TV competition Dancing with the Stars.

About this blog

Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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