The moment that everyone expected has finally arrived: Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver is retiring. The Packers put out a press release this morning, which states that Driver will officially announce his retirement at a ceremony on February 6th in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
Driver's 14-year career began as a seventh-round draft pick from Alcorn State in 1999. After playing in only six games his rookie year, Driver never played fewer than 13 in any of his other 13 seasons, missing only nine games in that span. He was a primary starter for ten seasons, from 2002 to 2011, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2002, 2006, and 2007.
Driver ranks first in Packers history in receptions and receiving yards and is third in receiving touchdowns behind Don Hutson and Sterling Sharpe. Statistically, Driver's best year was in 2006, when he caught 92 passes (5th-most in team history) for 1,295 yards (8th) and eight touchdowns. He will undoubtedly be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame at the earliest possible opportunity.
Certainly, Driver's playing time and production has gradually diminished until this year, when he caught only eight passes. However, he still put up one of the greatest Packers highlights of the past few years with his 61-yard touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers late in 2010.
Driver's career stats:
205 games played (155 starts)
Receiving: 743 receptions, 10,137 yards (13.6 yards per catch), 61 touchdowns
Rushing: 34 attempts, 217 yards (6.4 yards per attempt), one touchdown
UPDATE - Driver just tweeted this a few minutes ago:
After 14 years in the NFL, I have decided to retire. It’s been anamazing journey, thank you for all of your love and support! #Packer4Life— Donald Driver (@Donald_Driver80) January 31, 2013