GREEN BAY, WI (WSAU) Donald Driver a Viking? No way. Just a day after T-V speculation that Driver would consider playing in Minnesota, the Packers announced this morning that Driver will retire next Wednesday in a ceremony at 11 a-m in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
He’ll turn 38 on Groundhog Day, after 14 years with the only N-F-L team he’s ever played for. He took a big pay cut to return in 2012 – and with just eight catches, time diminished his skills.
But even if he was in prime shape, Driver is clearly not the type of Packer to run to the arch-rival Vikings like Brett Favre, Ryan Longwell, Darren Sharper, and Robert Ferguson did. In a statement this morning, Driver said he always enjoyed a special bond with Packer fans and quote, “I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers’ organization.”
Team president Mark Murphy, G-M Ted Thompson, and coach Mike McCarthy will speak at Wednesday’s retirement ceremony. And there will be limited seats for fans as well. Free tickets can be picked up at Lambeau starting at nine a-m tomorrow with a limit of four per person.
Driver will bow out on the second anniversary of the Packers’ last Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh. He became the Packers’ all-time leading receiver in 2011, and he leaves with 10-thousand-137 receiving yards. He surpassed Sterling Sharpe in 2009 to become the team’s career leader in catches with 743. Driver also has team records with seven consecutive thousand-yard seasons, catches in 133 straight games, and having 50-plus catches in nine straight years.
He had the longest tenure of any Packer this season, having been drafted in 1999 out of Alcorn State.