A wonderful career in Green Bay could be at end for Donald Driver

Donald Driver says he would like to return to the Green Bay Packers next season.

Reality is it could be time for him to move on.

Driver set a Packers’ franchise record for career receiving yards with 10,060 when he moved past James Lofton this season. He’s caught 735 passes and scored 60 touchdowns in a career that started in 1999.

But he’s headed into the final year of his contract and will turn 37 next month. Driver made 37 catches this past season for 445 yards and six touchdowns. With so much depth at the position, and a young player in Randall Cobb who could be ready for an expanded role, it will be hard to justify Driver’s salary. He’s due $5 million with $2.6 million in base pay, $2.2 million in the form of a roster bonus and a $200,000 workout bonus.

Perhaps the Packers would consider bringing him back at a substantially reduced rate, but that seems like a lot to pay even a third receiver and he might be No. 4 at this point.

According to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Driver said this morning that he wants to return and if he doesn’t play for Green Bay, he wants to play somewhere. It’s hard for him to imagine.

"But if it happens, it happens,” Driver said. “I can't do anything about it."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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