Let us return now to the saga of Tori Gurley, Green Bay Packers practice squad receiver. When last we left Tori he was telling the Vikings thanks but no thanks after they offered him a chance to leave the Packers practice squad and become a full-fledged member of an NFL roster. Gurley’s reason for turning down the Vikings? He preferred staying in Green Bay because they really know how to develop receivers.
That was his stated reason at least. Further inquiry revealed one interesting fact: that the Packers gave Gurley a significant pay bump. This no doubt played a role in Gurley’s decision to spurn the Vikings. Gurley was also certainly influenced by the belief that Donald Driver was about to leave, opening up a roster spot.
Stay with the Packers for more money than a normal practice squad player gets then take over for Donald Driver upon his departure? Sounds like a good plan. Only problem: Donald Driver may not be ready to depart. In an interview with WISN TV, the 37-year-old Driver indicated his desire to remain in Green Bay for at least one more year, and said he would accept a pay cut if that’s what it takes to stay a Packer.
“The organization knows what I’ve done on and off the field, and they want to keep me around as long as possible,” Driver said. “If that means sitting down and taking pay cuts to stay around, then you take pay cuts to stay around. I’ve always said it’s not about the money for me anymore.” Added Driver, “What I’m pushing for is for my legacy to stay around in the state of Wisconsin and around the world forever. So the money’s not a big issue.”
In other words, Driver thinks the Packers have a pretty good chance of going to the Super Bowl next season, and he wants to be a part of that. Skeptics will point to Driver’s age and diminished production in 2011. Defenders will remind everyone of the Packers playoff loss when Driver was about the only receiver who didn’t come down with a fatal case of dropsies.
Nothing is decided yet with Driver, but from his statements it certainly sounds like both he and the Packers are interested in continuing the relationship for at least one more year. This being the case, I have to wonder: does Tori Gurley now regret his decision to turn down the Vikings? Or is he still convinced that Green Bay is the best place for him?