Aaron Rodgers posts heartfelt tribute to Jordy Nelson after Nelson's release

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers added a significant weapon on Tuesday with the reported addition of tight end Jimmy Graham, but he also lost one as well.

Not long after the news of Graham’s three-year deal with the Packers broke, the team announced the release of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, a longtime target of Rodgers.

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Nelson arrived in Green Bay in 2008, a few years after Rodgers. Naturally, Nelson’s departure is a tough pill to swallow for the two-time MVP.

“Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me,” Rodgers wrote in an Instagram post. “No teammate exemplified what it means to be a Packer quite like him. From living in Green Bay full time, his incredible contributions to the city, state, and region, to his consistent, reliable play on the field. Definitely a sad day and the toughest part of this business. There will never be another quite like white lightning.”

Over their nine years in Green Bay together, Rodgers and Nelson connected for 65 touchdowns, more than any other quarterback-receiver duo in franchise history. Nelson, 32, ranks near the top of the team’s record books with 550 receptions (third), 7,848 receiving yards (fifth) and 69 touchdown catches (second).

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Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson together
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Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson together
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 and Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers greet each other before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on October 15, 2017 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 24: Aaron Rodgers #12 and Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on December 24, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 01: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) chat prior to a NFC North NFL football game between Detroit and Green Bay on January 1, 2017, at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 01: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) chat prior to a NFC North NFL football game between Detroit and Green Bay on January 1, 2017, at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
21 DEC 2014: Aaron Rodgers (12) and Jordy Nelson (87) of the Packers during the regular season game between the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Jordy Nelson #87 and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after a 29 yard touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts with Jordy Nelson #87 after they connected for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Oct 19, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (right) and wide receiver Jordy Nelson (left) react after a Packers touchdown in the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field. The Packers beat the Panthers 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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By moving on from Nelson, the Packers save $10.2 million in salary cap space.

“We cannot thank Jordy enough for all that he has given the Green Bay Packers and our community for the past 10 years,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said. “He has been an exemplary professional and teammate and greatly contributed to our success. Jordy will always be a member of the Packers family and we look forward to his eventual induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. We wish Jordy, his wife Emily, and the rest of their family all the best.”

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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