Donald Driver open to coming out of retirement, but only for Packers
Driver said that although he has received phone calls from several other NFL teams inquiring about a 2013 return but he turned them down. There is only one team Driver would be willing to take seriously up on that offer, and that is the Packers.
“I love the game, but I only love one team,” Driver said. “When you love the game, you’ll play for anybody. Anybody who offers you something, you’re willing to step on the field and play for them. I decided that I love one team. But I do love the game. At the end of the day, if I get that itch, it would only be for the green and gold.”
That sense of loyalty is part of the reason why Driver is such an immensely popular and well-respected figure in Green Bay. This past weekend, the Labeau faithful honored the Green Bay Packers legend by naming a street, Donald Driver Way, and unveiling a statue after him. Driver also drew a sellout crowd of more than 9,000 fans at his annual charity softball game on Sunday.
The Packers opted not to re-sign Driver this offseason, after he played 14 seasons for the team. Rather than sign anywhere else, Driver decided to announce his retirement in February, saying that he couldn’t imagine playing for another team. Green Bay addressed Driver’s absence from their receivers group this year by selecting rookies Kevin Dorsey and Charles Johnson in the seventh-round of the 2013 NFL draft. The team is expected to get their young receivers as many reps as possible during training camp.
Driver said while he misses football “a little bit” since retirement, he is still not too high on training camp, minicamp and OTAS. But if the Packers were still to call him this summer and said they needed him at camp, Driver said he’d jump on that opportunity as well.
"If the Packers called me and said, 'Drive, come back to training camp,' I'd be back for training camp," said Driver. "But until then, I'll be sitting at home and just watching football."
But the most likely scenario for Driver's return to Green Bay would be if their receivers were to suffer multiple injuries, then they could always turn to a guy who’s willing to play and knows the offense well enough to pick up mid-season.
"I think the thing for me is if the Packers call mid-season, I'd be in shape," Driver said, via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I've been staying in shape."
The 38-year-old Driver was originally taken in the seventh-round of the 1999 NFL draft by the Packers. Since then, he had six-straight seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards (2004-2009) until his production dropped recently. Driver hauled in only eight passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games last season. He appeared in 205 career games for the Packers, while compiling 743 receptions for 10,137 yards and 61 touchdown receptions.