Green Bay Packers: It’s Best if Jordy Nelson Stays Retired

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Jordy Nelson /

There have been rumblings about Jordy Nelson returning to the Green Bay Packers, but it’s best for everyone if he stays retired.

It’s difficult to find a more beloved Green Bay Packer over the past 12 years than Jordy Nelson. After a slow start to his career, he briefly became one of the better wide receivers in the NFL and, certainly, one of the most underrated. However, it’s best for everyone if he stays retired.

After being selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Nelson struggled to make an impact in his first two seasons–never accruing more than 366 yards or 33 receptions. However, the took a step forward in his third season before taking a gigantic leap in his fourth year.

From 2011 to 2016, Nelson was one of the most underrated receivers in the game. During that span, he accrued at least 1200 receiving yards in every season he played more than 13 games. That includes a dominating 98 reception, 1519 and 13 touchdown campaign in 2015.

Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in a 2016 preseason game, likely preventing his career from becoming even more dominating. He missed the entire 2016 campaign and returned in 2017 with noticeably less speed. Although he still caught 97 receptions for 1257 yards and 14 touchdowns, it was the last time he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark.

Nelson only spent one more season in Green Bay before they cut him in March of 2018. He landed on his feet, however, and signed a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders. Unfortunately, he only spent one more season in the NFL before being released again, this time in March of 2019. He signed a one-day contract with the Packers last summer so he could retire as a member of the organization he spent nine years with.

With the Packers desperately needing help at wide receiver, there have been some rumblings about whether the team should reunite with their former star receiver. In a recent interview with Wisconson State Journal’s Jason Wilde, Nelson spoke about his retirement, “We’re not coming back. There’s no doubt about that. We’re done,” he began, but his other words indicated he might be having other thoughts. “I’m confused on what I need to do, so I’ll just stay at home. No one’s ever satisfied.”

It also sounds as if Nelson and Aaron Rodgers have had conversations about the former’s return, “I don’t know how serious they got, just because there’s only so much control that we had over it. There’s other people in the organization who make those decisions, make that decision on who’s on the team and who’s not. So I wasn’t going to dive into a hard-core conversation unless I knew there was a chance to come back,” said Nelson, “I think (Rodgers) knew deep down that if there was an opportunity right after Oakland, I probably would have (come back). But obviously it’s not up to us.”

As much as Packers’ fans would love to see Nelson in green and gold again, it’s probably best for everyone if he stays retired.

Green Bay already has one of the slowest wide receiver groups in the NFL and Nelson certainly wouldn’t help that. They also have a couple of potential up and coming young receivers in Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling who need playing time at this stage to develop. Even if Nelson is better than them today (which is highly questionable itself), that won’t be the case for very long.

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When talking about a player like Nelson who has done so much for the franchise, it’s easy to get nostalgic about the good ol’ days. Unfortunately, it’s already been four years since Nelson was impactful for the Packers. It’s time to move on.