Jordy Nelson already hung up his cleats in March, but now he’ll be officially ending his career as a member of the team he’s known the longest.
The Green Bay Packers announced on Sunday that the veteran wide receiver would be retiring with the team in an official ceremony.
Nelson spent the first 10 years of his career with the Packers after they selected him in the second round of the 2008 draft out of Kansas State. He made one Pro Bowl in 2014 and helped lead the team to a Super Bowl XLV win in 2011.
Nelson finished his career in the top five of almost every major receiving category in franchise history. He was second in touchdown receptions (69), third in receptions (550), third in games with at least 100 yards (25) and fifth in receiving yards (7,848). He also owns the Packers’ single-season receiving yards record with 1,519 in 2014.
The Packers released Nelson in March of 2018, and he landed a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders just two days later. He had a fine season — 739 yards on 63 catches were an improvement over 2017 — but the Raiders cut him loose after adding Antonio Brown. Oddly enough, that worked out fine for Nelson, since they already paid him his 2019 bonus in December.
Could Jordy Nelson play again?
Nelson has hinted that he might come out of retirement if close friend and former teammate Aaron Rodgers came calling, but that may not be in the cards.
But interestingly, as ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio pointed out, Nelson did not sign a one-day contract with the Packers. While that may sound like a technicality, it’s also a technicality that would make it easier to sign with another team if he so chooses.
Because he's currently a free agent, he can come out of retirement to sign with any team. But if he signed with the Packers — even for a day — that would have given them the right to block a signing with any other team.
Chances are, Nelson is done and would only come out of retirement to join back up with Rodgers. But at the very least, he’s having his cake and eating it too by keeping his options open after celebrating his career in Green Bay.
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