Yesterday was one of the busiest days the Packers have had in free agency in quite some time. As new Packers GM Brian Gutekunst declared, the Packers are going to be more aggressive in free agency moving forward. Well, let’s just say that appears to be an understatement. The Packers picked up the seam-stretching, red zone threat tight end Jimmy Graham as well as Muhammad Wilkerson, ex-New York Jets defensive tackle. I’m very excited about both of those moves and they will signfiicantly help our team for the upcoming season but there was another move yesterday. The Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson duo is officially over. Yes, the Packers released the great Jordy Nelson to sign with another team after 9 great seasons and one Super Bowl championship.
Was this the right move by the Packers and Gutekunst? At first glance and emotions still attached, it’s easy to say an emphatic no. Jordy’s connection with A-Rod is unprecedented. They seem to know each other’s thoughts without speaking; the chemistry between them is almost telepathic. I would tell Packers fans who feel like this to sift through the emotion and take an honest look.
Jordy Nelson is going to turn 33 years old this May. By NFL standards, those legs are no longer fresh. In fact, we have seen a decline from Jordy in terms of overall speed and that has been a common denominator for some time now. It is true that the Packers must get faster and more athletic. Although I have no doubt Jordy still has some gas in the tank, is it enough to warrant a $10 million dollar per season contract? I honestly have to say no to that one. As much as I have cheered Jordy on in the past, I can’t get behind the idea that he should make $10 million per season given the drop in production. It was glaringly evident that he no longer gets the separation that he once did. It’s also obvious that the big play potential to get up and over the top of the defense is also gone. To be brutally honest, “white chocolate” as he was often referred is really another wide receiver like James Jones, former Packer at this point. Savvy veterans still have a place on many teams but not at that price tag.
The Packers were wise to let Jordy go, even though it probably didn’t sit well across Packer Nation. Sometimes the tough call is the right one and, in this case, I believe it was. Jordy Nelson was a consummate professional and excellent community member as I’ve read. He ran the charity softball tournament for his foundation for years after Donald Driver left and continued its success. In the end, it is my wish that Jordy latch on to another team and have success. He deserves that. The Packers also deserve to have its fan base understand the move. It simply had to be done.
Here is one of my all-time favorite Jordy Nelson moments and yes, it came in Super Bowl XLV.
Thanks Jordy for 9 incredible seasons. You will go down as one of the all-time great Packer receivers and your induction into the Packers Hall of Fame is all but guaranteed. You leave a lasting legacy both on and off the field as a player with extreme talent and an abundance of class. True Packers fans understand the move but also likely feel saddened by what was the inevitable. As they say, Father Time is undefeated, right? What are your thoughts on this transaction? As always, Go Pack Go!Robert Martin bleeds green and gold despite living in North Dakota, where many cheer for the purple. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @robertmartinPHD.