Contract Approved! Driver Back in Green and Gold
Donald Driver, The 37-year-old veteran heading in to his 14th season never once considered asking for a little time off during the Green Bay Packers’ offseason workouts this week to recover from Dancing With the Stars.
Instead, his agent, Jordan Woy, restructured Driver’s contract with the Packers. Driver was due a $1.5 million roster bonus on the first day of training camp. After Driver openly wondered about his future with the team in January after the Packers lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs, he now feels certain his career will end where it began - in Green Bay.
"Well, I'm happy. I'll retire as a Packer and that's all that really matters," said Driver. He added the deal was "done. I'm a Packer for life. That's all that matters to me."
Driver didn't want to talk much about the restucturing of the deal that would have meant a pay cut on his part. He just wanted to join his teammates during OTAs on Wednesday ready to go to work. He participated in drills but not the 'team' portion of the two-hour rainy practice.
He is confident as ever.
"I just have to continue to play well. I have to continue to make plays. I’ve done it year in and year out and I don’t think it is ever going to change," said Driver. "People talk about how this is a young man's game. But I have proven that age is just a number. And I haven’t declined. People talk about, well I didn’t have 1,000 yards. I didn’t have 80 catches. I don’t control who throws the ball.
"Every ball I caught, it was amazing. I made amazing catches, amazing runs. Hopefully when it is all said and done, people will look at that as the game plays, not the age."
Driver said he felt he was in great shape from the dancing and more flexible. But he probably will still have to prove that he can play when training camp rolls around and knows the Packers will be evaluating him; a new contract doesn't necessarily mean a sure spot on the roster, not even now.
"They can do whatever they feel like they have to do. I can't control that part of it," said Driver. "I knew I was in great shape, I knew I was ready to still play football. Like I said, both sides came to an agreement, said hey, let's get this done, we want you to be a Packer, I wanted to be a Packer, I wanted to play here, I didn't want to play anywhere else, and we made it work."
Asked if he might have a better chance of being higher on the depth chart with another team, Driver said: "I mean, where am I on the depth chart in your mind? I'm still the starter until they tell me I'm not. They haven't told me I'm not the starter."
Driver said the show gave him great exposure as a celebrity.
"People know me as a football player, great. But I wanted people to know me as a person. And 35 millions people now now know me as a great father, a great Christian man, and a great husband," said Driver.