Jordy Nelson is no longer a Green Bay Packer.
Take a second to let that soak in.
Let’s get all the stats, accolades, and rankings out of the way first. Jordy ranked fifth all-time Packer in terms of receiving yards (7,848), third in receptions (550), and second in receiving touchdowns (69, nice). He spent 10 years with the Packers while missing one year due to an ACL injury. He was the Packers’ second-round pick out of Kansas State University in 2008, won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2010, named to one Pro Bowl in 2014, and lead the NFL in touchdowns in 2016 while winning NFL Comeback Player of the Year coming off a torn ACL.
Then came 2017.
Nelson totaled 482 yards and 6 touchdowns on 53 receptions, all of which were career lows since becoming a full-time starter in 2013. The switch from Aaron Rodgers to Brett Hundley was rough, to say the least. There was a lack of chemistry when it came to getting Nelson the ball and he was frozen out of games at times because of it. In five of the nine games without Rodgers, Nelson was targeted five or fewer times which is not something typically seen by a perceived number one receiving threat. With that being said, the Packers understandably could not justify paying that production a price tag that is sure to be over 10 million dollars for the 2018 season.
This does not mean you cannot mourn, Packer fans.
Jordy Nelson was the prime example of what it meant to be a Packer in the sense of a hard-working, team-oriented, blue-collar player. He restructured his contract in 2014 to aid the Packers in freeing up cap space having no issues with it. He pushed through injuries to stay on the field with an example being the 2016 Playoffs where he broke ribs and came back to play the next week. He was a consummate professional throughout his time in Green Bay and even took on new roles outside of football to benefit other people. Every year he sponsored the Jordy Nelson Charity Softball Game where Packer players would face off against each other. The event raises money for a charity Nelson is a major supporter of named Young Life which works to pair school-aged children with mentors. While on injured reserve in the 2015 season, Mr. Nelson became a substitute teacher for his son’s third grade class. He also tends a farm with his family in Kansas which puts himself in good standing with the agricultural nature of a number of Wisconsinites.
Packer fans should not be overly surprised if Nelson is still in Green Bay next year after restructuring a contract to stay in green and gold, but they should not hold their breath either. Sadly, Nelson’s #87 might be occupied by someone else in the 2018-2019 NFL campaign. Jordy Nelson means the world to Green Bay and Packer fans all over. It is important to see the business and logical side of his release, but it is good that it stings. It is often forgotten that these players are people and Jordy Nelson is one of the most upstanding people in the NFL and the impact he has had in Green Bay will not be forgotten.
Farewell, Jordy Nelson.