GREEN BAY – Donald Driver said it would happen, and it has: The Green Bay Packers all-time leading receiver has agreed to terms on a restructured contract that should have him on the practice field Wednesday morning when the team returns to organized team activity practices, an NFL source said Tuesday night.
Driver’s agent, Jordan Woy, confirmed the deal in an email to WTMJ-TV sports reporter Lance Allan, writing, "We have agreed to terms with the Packers but need to review it tomorrow to finalize."
Driver said several months ago that he was willing to accept a pay cut in order to return for his 14th season in Green Bay, and Driver, fresh off his victory on Dancing With the Stars, put his money where his mouth was. While terms were not immediately available, Driver Tweeted the news himself, writing:
Tweeps: when I said I will be a Packer for life. It is now true. Packer for life.— Donald Driver (@Donald_Driver80) May 30, 2012
The 37-year-old Driver had been scheduled to be paid $2.2 million in roster bonuses, including $1.5 million to be paid on the first day of training camp; a $200,000 workout bonus; and a $2.6 million base salary. The team couldn’t afford to bring back Driver at a $5 million salary-cap charge given his reduced role in the offense. It’s safe to say the Packers wanted to make sure a new contract was in place before allowing him to practice.
Earlier this month, Woy said he and the Packers had been discussing a restructured contract “for a while” and that the sides were essentially waiting for DWTS to run its course before finalizing it.
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt late last week, Driver reiterated that he expects to play one and maybe two more years with the team that chose him in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Alcorn State.
“I’ll be in Green Bay. I’m not going anywhere,” Driver told Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo. “I’ve always said I want to retire as a Packer, I think the organization knows that, so we’re going to come together. We’re going to make a decision. One, two more years, and then I’ll put my cleats on the shelf and sit back in Dallas and relax. It’s family.”
While Driver missed the first two phases of the team’s offseason program and the first two practices of OTAs while competing in the ballroom, he could participate in practice as early as Wednesday. The Packers have three OTA workouts this week – on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – and then four next week before the team’s mandatory minicamp June 12-14.
Driver also has his annual charity softball game Sunday in Grand Chute.
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