Packers Keeping 6 WRs Doesn’t Make Sense All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Donald Driver
Could the Packers keep six WRs to retain Donald Driver?

Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke highly of Donald Driver this week, giving no indication that the team plans to cut the 37-year-old any time soon. Of course, McCarthy wasn’t going to come out and say that Driver will be off the team shortly, so take the coach’s praise for Driver with a grain of salt.

Actually, McCarthy had a general quote about the Packers WR philosphy that I think actually hurts Driver’s chances of being a Packer in 2012. McCarthy said:

“We don’t just try to get four receivers or five receivers and stop there. You want to get as many as you can.”

This is bad news for Driver because it tells me that the Packers won’t hesitate to draft a WR if they see one they like. No, WR isn’t a position of immediate need, but Ted Thompson doesn’t draft strictly based on need. If there’s a WR he likes and feels is a good value for the round he’s drafting in, he’ll take him.

But let’s say Thompson doesn’t draft a WR. Driver’s main competition would be Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel, both practice squad players last season that other teams tried to sign away from the Packers. Would Thompson keep a 37-year-old over two up-and-comers?

Now lets say Thompson drafts a WR, maybe an unpolished guy in the fifth or sixth round. Based on McCarthy’s above quote and past history, I don’t think Thompson would hesitate to do so. That’s more competition for Driver and yet another young player in the wrestling match for a roster spot.

Whether the Packers draft another WR or not, they could choose to keep six WRs, perhaps all five from last season and one of the young guys. This is the option I dislike the most.

The future seems bright for the Packers at WR. Greg Jennings (if they extend him), Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb appear on track to be contributors for a while. James Jones is decent enough and Jermichael Finley is basically an extra WR. Packers WRs have also manged to stay healthy the last couple of seasons. There’s no reason to stockpile an extra WR by keeping six on the roster.

The Packers could use that roster slot for defensive backs, where they might have to replace Nick Collins, plan for Charles Woodson’s departure sometime in the near future and have a backup plan if Sam Shields keeps regressing.

If they don’t use that slot on an extra defensive back, they could probably use it on the defensive line or at linebacker. We don’t need to rehash the Packers anemic pass rush or the struggles of A.J. Hawk to explain why.

If the Packers end up keeping Driver, that’s fine with me. If they feel he’s a better option over the younger guys, then great. I just hope they don’t keep six WRs to do so.


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


  • QOTSA1

    I would have no problem with them keeping 6 receivers if they think Driver still has something left. If that is the case, I would rather have them keep 6 receivers than lose Gurley.

    The Packers kept 5 tight ends last year and 3 fullbacks the year before, so I don’ think keeping 6 receivers is out of the question.

    • Adam Czech

      It’s definitely not out of the question, it’s just not what I would do. I was fine w/ keeping all those TEs and FBs because beyond Finley, there was no obvious regular in that group. You needed bodies at those positions to see if anyone could emerge as a regular player. That’s not the case at WR.

      Also, Finley is basically a WR. So if the Packers keep six actual WRs, it’s kind of like keeping seven because of how Finley is used.

      • Adam Czech

        Also special teams. The Packers special teams haven’t been the greatest under McCarthy so I’m sure he was trying to improve that unit in keeping all those TEs and FBs.

  • Lucas

    Also hurting Driver is special teams. Gurley has shown an ability to contribute in this area, something 2nd-5th string players normally do.

  • Ron LC

    6 wides yes – 5 TE’s no

    • zenydragon

      If anything MM would have to cut from his current list of TE’s to make room for a “sixth” WR. My guess would be that Quarless is the first on the chopping block, due to his injury problems.

      • BTF

        I’d be very suprised if we cut Quarless-even if he misses the whole year. His blocking was excellent last year and he flashed some potential as a receiver in his rookie year despite some drops. If he can stick the whole package together he may well be an excellent “tradtional” TE…

        • Adam Czech

          Quarless might start on the PUP, but I think his roster spot is safe. I think Crabtree would be the first go if we cut a TE, or mabye Williams.

          • Oppy

            With the severity of Quarless’ injury, I wouldn’t be shocked if he went to IR eventually. There’s your WR spot.

    • BTF

      There was a lot of talk about the 5 TE thing -but we actually kept less FB/TE’s than we did the year before…

      6 wides would make more sense to me if we didn’t have Finley, to me a TE/WR hybrid. 7 receivers even we can’t keep that many happy and involved. Sad truth is we are likely going to have to lose a good player or 2. Head says DD no matter how much the heart protests..

  • Ed Schoenfeld

    Since WR is the Packers’ best position group, would one of them be worth something in a trade, probably in return for better draft position?

    Just another idea I think needs to be around.

    • Zack

      It’s just not very common to trade a player for draft picks… I mean, I love the idea of trading JJ and DD coupled with a 2nd rounder for a 1st round pick but how often has something like that happenned? I’d venture to say never. If it’s not a blockbuster deal (ie trading Greg Jennings or Jordy Nelson) I can almost say you’d might as well forget the idea…

  • Zack

    Play your strong suit guys. Just because a position is weak does not justify keeping more weak players at that weak position. The logic there is flawed. If the sixth WR is a better player than the odd man out at another position then keep the better football player. For those saying it strengthens ST s to have more te and fb I say WRs can be as vital to ST.

    • Oppy

      This is exactly what MM and TT have been preaching since day one, and nobody should expect them to veer from it… it also plays into the BPA philosophy TT leans on in the draft.

      Keep the best football players on your roster. This isn’t about one year, it’s about the long term health of your club.

      Keeping a OG or DB who is just a guy or a bit above average because you don’t have a lot of depth at his position this year, and letting go of a WR who has a big upside who might be with the team for 5 years because you’re deep at his position this year… Doesn’t make much sense.

      All people need to do is listen to what Coach McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson tell us about how they manage their team. They tell it like it is, straight forward. Why don’t people listen and believe them?

      P.S.- on that note, it’s not just jibberish coach-speak… it really *IS* about Pad Level!!

    • Oppy

      Is it just me, or has someone been randomly “Disliking” comments lately?

      It just seems like many posts which are completely innocuous or neutral have been getting disliked lately. Maybe I just don’t see the edginess in them that people dislike.

  • BubbaOne

    6 WR’s and 4 TE’s to start the season may happen while Andrew Quarless goes on the PUP list.
    I like James Jones and don’t want to see him go but as you point out he’s “decent enough”. W/ two years left on his cap friendly contract it may entice another team to offer enough to sway TT to part w/ him thus freeing up the logjam at WR.

  • Curt K

    I would expect only one of James Jones and Donald Driver to make the final roster (unless injuries hit Cobb, Nelson, or Jennings). Borel and Gurley may both make the roster as well for special teams – depends on DB depth required.

    • marpag

      There’s absolutely no way I’d keep Driver over Jones. Compare their numbers from last year and its not even close. Jones was way better. The only question is whether or not Driver beats out the practice squad / draft pick guys.

  • Hey the way Rodgers threw the ball last year the Pack may need those guys, he could wear them out…

  • PackersRS

    I’m okay with keeping 6 Wrs, but one of those has to replace Lee as a gunner.

    Just playing on the hands team won’t cut it.

  • chris k

    listen, Mike McCarthy has already said he prefers 6 bodies between TE & FB so if he repeats last year and goes 5 TE/1 FB or this year he goes 4 TE & 2 FB it doesn’t matter…. WR does NOT tie into the Wide Reciever count.

    I very seriously doubt we would keep 6 wideouts — I see Driver restructuring and the team taking him into Training Camp and then letting him know that Gurley will be staying… Or Borel.

    Its about special teams guys’. They bear a huge weight on these decisions and Driver does next to nothing in this department.

  • Ron LC

    FA Note: Tollifson ws in GB for interview yesterday. He stayed overnoght and is still there.

    Let the rumors begin!

  • marpag

    I’m sad to say it, but even if the Packers do carry six wides – and I don’t think they should unless they REALLY strike gold with some of the youngsters – still, DD should not be one of the six, even if he reduces his asking price.

    If GB is afraid of losing Jennings in the future, that is an argument NOT to retain DD. If you are going to lose a top guy, then it is all the more important to have young replacements on the roster.

    More than that, DD just doesn’t have the juice anymore. Defenses can stick a 3rd or 4th corner on him and take their chances. Even if the corner gets beat, DD isn’t likely to run away from the defense anymore.

    In 2011, DD had only 5 receptions longer than 20yrds, and NO receptions longer than 40. That’s terrible. He averaged only 28 yards per game, and his per catch average was only 12 yards, by far the lowest of any GB wideout (Cobb was 15, Jones 16.7) Jones had almost 200 yrds more receiving than DD, and Cobb with his very limited snaps was only 70 yards less.

    Obviously, you don’t cut Jennings, Nelson, Jones or Cobb – all younger guys with better stats – in favor of DD. So they only real question is, does Driver – with no real future and only 28 very “un-explosive” yards per game – give you significantly more than one of the promising young guys who have their whole careers ahead of them?

    That’s a flat out “No” in my opinion. As much a you might hate to do it, you just gotta cut Donald.

  • keith

    Keeping 6 doesnt make a whole lot of sense BUT if you get a say top 15 talent who slips to you then you have to draft him and make room.

    If you keep driver at 37 he cant have more than a year left so I would try to find his replacement this year or next and if you let him play one more let him make him agree to retire the following year so you dont have to cut him

  • Zack

    I’ll take blame for a couple such comments Oppy. I have big fingers and a small screened smart phone and sometimes I try to like a comment and I accidentally hit dislike or some times I’m scrolling and my finger hits dislike. It’s accidental and I’m sure it happens to others also.