Donald Driver retires from Packers
Donald Driver. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - The all-time leading receiver in Green Bay Packers history has called it quits after a 14-year career.
Donald Driver has announced his retirement, ending a career which garnered countless accolades and a Super Bowl ring from the 2010 season.
"It was the green and gold that made the decision," Driver said on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News." There was speculation that he might consider playing for another team after not seeing much playing time during the 2012 campaign, but Driver ended that on Thursday.
"I always wanted to wear the green and gold, and no other colors."
"You know that you'll have 3,000 fans inside the atrium. You'll be able to talk to them and the millions of fans that will be watching, you'll be able to express your feelings to them," he told Gene Mueller and Greg Matzek on 620WTMJ.
Driver owns team records for
- Most receptions
- Most seasons with 50-plus receptions
- Most consecutive games with a reception
- Most receiving yards
- Most seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards
He has three Pro Bowl appearances to his resume as well, in 2002, 2006 and 2007.
His best seasons came during that six year stretch, when for five of those six years, he gained more than 1,000 yards receiving.
Driver's best season came in 2004, when he caught 84 passes for 1,208 yards and nine touchdowns.
When asked about particular memories, Driver responded, "Just running through that tunnel means more to me than anything else. Not too many people can get that opportunity, and I was blessed to be able to do it."
However, he says his greatest moments came when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV.
"The greatest milestone is to make it to the Super Bowl as an NFL player. I'm blessed to have a Super Bowl ring," explained Driver.
Perhaps one of his hardest came in the 2012 finale, when the Packers lost in the NFC divisional playoff to San Francisco.
"It was tough. You sit on the sideline, and you think 'What can you do to help?' There was nothing I could do at that time. You know this could be the last game in that uniform. I gave the guys hugs and told them 'It was great playing with you guys. I'll miss you guys.' "
At the time of his retirement, he stood 10th among all active players for most receptions, eighth for most receiving yards and ninth for most touchdowns receiving.
Driver was also known for his charitable works and winning the reality competition "Dancing with the Stars" in 2012.
He kidded about the idea of returning to the show when discussing his future plans.
"I've got my life story, my book coming out in September." Then, he joked, "Maybe I'll get back on 'Dancing With The Stars.' "
"Whatever God has in store for me, I want to follow that road. The opportunities will be there...God has made my life so special, especially with my wife and kids. I'll be a husband and father for a while, and then eye what's next for me."
Driver made sure, however, that he would keep his ties to Green Bay strong.
"I'm not going anywhere. Believe that."