Donald Driver: His Return Is A Curse In Disguise


Donald Driver, a fan favorite, will be a detriment to the 2012 Green Bay Packers. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

In addition to winning a Super Bowl championship and a Hall of Fame induction every NFL players dream is to be successful and retire with the team in which he entered the league. For Donald Driver this dream will most likely come true, but I don’t think it should.

Life has been good these past two years for Driver. The 37-year-old receiver has won a Super Bowl championship and a Mirror Ball Trophy, awarded to the winner of TV’s Dancing With The Stars. He also restructured his contract, and took a pay cut to stay with the team he loves.

The dilemma is that the Packers, with Driver, will have six receivers, which is normal for the team as they often use all six at one time. Normally teams don’t carry seven receivers on the final roster because of depth needs at other positions. It wouldn’t make sense for the Packers who are loaded at receiver, and thin at offensive line and defensive backfield.

I understand Driver is a fan favorite, and personally he is one of my favorite players, but in the end I believe in what’s right for the team. Ted Thompson should indeed cut ties with Driver before the season starts. This will be a difficult thing to do, because Driver is having without a doubt one of his best camps as a pro, but keeping him will only hold the Packers back.

There are two reasons Driver should be cut: Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley.

Borel and Gurley came to the Packers as undrafted free agents in 2011, and both showed flashes of talent during last year’s preseason. Gurley is more of a possession receiver who has that ability to get the jump ball in the back of the end zone – something of which Aaron Rodgers is a big fan.

Gurley also proved his loyality to the team when during the 2011 season he was offered a pro contract by the Minnesota Vikings. He declined the offer to stay on the Packers practice squad, in hopes of making it to the pro roster. Gurley has shown so far during training camp that he is ready for the next level.

Borel, a former college quarterback, possesses great speed with good hands. With Borel there is also the opportunity for gimmick plays if McCarthy wants to confuse opponents. Borel could be a capable fourth or fifth starter in the future, but he may never get his chance.

Driver could very well have a great season, but Borel and Gurley could potentially have great seasons as well, on other teams. Sometimes you just have to let go of the fan favorite to see what you have behind him. As Packers fans, we all know about that.