As the Packers ready-up for the 2012 season, a persistent problem has continued to linger for multiple years.
No, it is nothing about the defense or having a consistent running game.
The problem is about, simply, having too many good receivers on the roster. It’s a great problem to have but it is still a problem that the Packers’ management has to deal with from year to year. Quite frankly, the problem continues to worsen as the years pass due to aging receivers like Donald Driver who continue to make an impact on the team. It’s also a problem allowing the up and coming receivers to have their own chance to show what they are made of.
With training camp approaching, the Packers’ organization is going to have to make some really tough decisions as to which receivers should stay and which will have to be let go due to the number and depth of talent at the position.
One way the Packers look to handle this problem this year may be by having more than five receivers on the opening day roster. The Packers have stuck strong to a five receiver roster for the past few years but it seems like this year will have to change the streak.
One way the Packers were rumored to have doing before was to consider cutting Donald Driver to make room for younger receivers with more of an upside. The Packers’ organization went in a different direction, however, and brought back the longtime Packer on a reduced salary for this season. Despite his age, he can still make an impact on the football field and maybe even still pick up those extra yards he is always known for doing. Being a Dancing with the Stars champion should only enhance his moves on the gridiron.
Though it seems as if Driver is secured for the 2012 season, it is difficult to imagine the Packers keeping him around for the 2013 season. But, according to NFL.com, Driver has said, “I’m going to play two more years, this one, then next year, then I’m completely done.” He would go on to also say, “(I’m) gonna put my cleats on the shelf and do something different. I’ve always said I wanted to retire a Packer and now I get that opportunity to retire for, as I always say, the best franchise in the world.”
As a Packers fan, I love Driver and would not like to see him in a different uniform but it is really hard to imagine Driver sticking around past this season. This is because of many practice squad standouts like Tori Gurley, Diondre Borel, and Shaky Smithson who have rejected offers to play for other teams on their active roster and, instead, have been tearing it up on the practice squad waiting for their time to play in a NFL game for the green and gold.
So it is not crazy to think that the Packers will decide this year to play with six and maybe even seven receivers on the opening day rosters. Heck, they have overloaded on positions in the past like tight end last year and fullback from two years ago.
Maybe this will be the year for wide receivers…