Donald Driver is retiring from the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers' all-time leader in receiving yards (10,137) and receptions (743) made the announcement through an official press release from the organization early Thursday morning.
Driver, who will turn 38 Saturday, will hold an event that is open to fans and media on Feb. 6 in the Lambeau Field Atrium to publicly state his decision to retire after 14 NFL seasons, all with the Packers. Driver will be joined at the ceremony by coach Mike McCarthy, general manager Ted Thompson and Packers president Mark Murphy.
"I played my entire career in Green Bay and have always enjoyed a special bond with the fans," Driver said in a statement. "I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers organization."
Driver's career certainly didn't begin like one that would eventually be commemorated in this manner. He was a seventh-round pick (213rd overall) in 1999 and was at the bottom of the depth chart at wide receiver. Driver made the team as a rookie but played in only six games and caught three passes for 31 yards and one touchdown.
After three relatively forgettable seasons to begin his career, though, Driver broke through as a starter in his fourth year. Continuing to get more comfortable with the team's quarterback at the time, Brett Favre, Driver started all 16 games in 2002 and finished that season with 1,064 receiving yards. That was more than twice as many yards as in his first three seasons combined.
From 2004-09, Driver eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards for six consecutive seasons, and those years included a change from Favre to Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Driver was still starting for the Packers in 2010 and 2011, but his production dwindled considerably as he barely surpassing 1,000 receiving yards in those two seasons combined.
Because he stayed in incredible shape — he has just 3 percent body fat — the drop in production was largely attributed to all the top-level receivers the Packers had put alongside him. This season, though — while his celebrity was never higher after winning "Dancing With the Stars" in the offseason — he dropped to the bottom of the depth chart. He was barely on the field and sometimes a healthy inactive for games, catching only eight passes for 77 yards.
Driver retires after 14 years with Packers
Fox Sports Wisconsin | Jan 31