Donald Driver believes he could still play and help a team this coming season.
But if he can’t help the Green Bay Packers, he’s not going to play any longer.
Driver’s 14-year career as a member of the Packers will be celebrated at a retirement party on Wednesday at the Lambeau Field Atrium, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“It was just time sitting down with the wife and kids,” Driver said. “I’ve always said I never want to wear another uniform. I’ve always said that I owe it to the fans to retire as a Packer.
“I feel like I can still play, but if I can’t play for my organization then I can’t play for anyone else. I’m happy with the decision I made. My wife and kids made it real easy for me. It will be a little tougher on Feb. 6. I’m going to get emotional. I’m trying not to get too emotional today, but Feb. 6 I know will be emotional.”
Driver is the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and yards. The Packers had informed him he would not be brought back in 2013 and some were mildly surprised there was a spot for him this past season when playing time was limited.
“There probably would have been a lot of teams interested if I would have let this thing pan out,” said Driver, 37. “I feel like it was my time. I knew once the Packers told me they weren’t going to sign me back, it made it easy for me.
“I’ve always said, even back in 2002, the day I announce I’m retired, I’m retired. I’m not coming back unless I can come back with my team.”
Driver’s career ends with 743 receptions, 10,137 yards and seven 1,000-yard seasons. He made just receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns this season.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune