The case for
Nelson had been offered a meager contract to return to Green Bay after the 2017 season, which he declined in order to find greener pastures, but Oakland failed to deliver.
Media sources (including Nelson’s past teammate James Jones) considered the Packers’ offer a low-ball attempt to keep him on the roster, and Nelson still considered accepting. He had a great love for the fanbase, and they loved him right back.
The possibility of including Nelson’s experience and leadership among the Packers’ young wide receiver group can’t be undervalued. Star wide receiver Davante Adams stated his thoughts in an interview last year after Nelson was signed in Oakland, expressing his understanding that it’s a business, but acknowledged it was different to lose “a guy who’s been here and kinda showing you the way since you’ve been here.”
Nelson was a mentor to Adams, and he could do the same for the three receivers from last year’s draft, plus Geronimo Allison. That alone is worth a contract, acknowledging how effectively Davante developed under Jordy’s wing.
The other alternative is a one-day contract if Jordy Nelson decides he wants to retire, and do so as a Packer. But that seems like a waste, as Nelson still has shown the ability to be a game-changing receiver.
Argue for or against the signing, but Aaron Rodgers has always been one of Nelson’s most vocal supporters, and Nelson returned the favor in kind by defending Rodgers against his critics. A reunion would make them both happy, and the Nelson loyalists will also be ecstatic.
With how shrewd and active Brian Gutekunst has been this offseason, we can still cross our fingers and hope for a resurgence in Green Bay similar to how James Jones returned in the final year of his career. Coincidentally, Jones had also departed for the Raiders for a year before retiring as a Packer.
It’s unclear whether Jordy still has enough love for Green Bay to sell himself short. But he did express last month in a radio interview with ESPN Milwaukee that “in a perfect world,” he would have played out his career in Green Bay, and that he was unhappy with leaving last year.
The case to bring Nelson back to Green Bay revolves around if management believes he can fit in the new-look Packers offense, and if Nelson is willing to undervalue his own talent and shake off the disrespect he was shown last year. At the end of the day, it is a business, and the franchise will be treated as such.
Maybe he’d like to return. But there are still a few reasons why it might not be practical.