The case against
Brian Gutekunst did speak at a press conference recently, and when asked about Jordy potentially returning to Green Bay, he said: “I don’t think, at this time. You know, never say never.”
There’s no familiarity in the system anymore. Pairing that with the perceived disrespect Gutekunst showed in his first offseason as GM might further distance Nelson from entertaining any sort of offer from Green Bay, if there would be one to begin with.
If Nelson was to return, stipulations would need to be met on both sides. It’s likely that Packers GM Gutekunst, with the recent signings and having to sign draft picks next month, would only pitch a veteran minimum offer, or slightly above that.
It would be a labor of love for Nelson to return to Green Bay. Nelson would need to accept a low offer, and learn an entirely new offense in the wake of new head coach Matt LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Green Bay also has a plethora of wide receivers as it is, at various ranges of talent and production. Without a clearly structured rotation or intended package sets on offense, Nelson might be doing more harm than good if he takes the majority of snaps while young receivers are still developing.
While the move to acquire Nelson would boost the young, still-raw receiver corps, he’d need to do it at a discount, putting aside his status among the fans. And other teams may be interested enough to offer him legitimate starter money.
As hard as Packers fans may advocate for a reunion between Rodgers and Nelson, the decision comes down to whether or not Brian Gutekunst extends an olive branch, who has expressed no regret for releasing Nelson a year ago. But hope still exists, and will continue to exist until the 12-year veteran finds a new home, or calls it quits entirely.
Drop the name for a second. The chances of Green Bay signing a 12-year veteran to anything but the veteran minimum, and having an actual impact in the new offense are slim to none.
It’s a longshot. But Gutekunst did say he wanted the Packers to be in on every free agency discussion, and Nelson fits the free agent category as of March 14.
It’s clear that Nelson is what the fans want. But what the fans want and what’s best for the franchise don’t always line up.
Jordy Nelson is a weapon, a leader, and a Wisconsin icon. The Packers should at least gauge his interest, and try to mend the rift that was opened at this time last year.