WR Nelson says Packers had 'unwillingness to try to make it work'
For Jordy Nelson, his departure from the Green Bay Packers was very much a decision based on numbers. And not just the kind preceded by a dollar sign.
He also left because of the number of snaps he believed he wasn't going to see anymore.
The Packers and Nelson parted ways after 10 seasons on March 13, and two days later the wide receiver signed with the Oakland Raiders for two years and $14.2 million.
Indeed, the Packers did offer Nelson a pay cut if he wanted to stay with the team, but according to a report by ESPN on Monday, it was what general manager Brian Gutekunst said after offering less money that cemented Nelson's decision.
"I think the number was part of it, but also the conversation I had in the meeting," Nelson told the Wilde & Tausch Show on ESPN Radio. "I met with Brian and had a discussion because I had to get a feel for not just the pay cut but what their plans were going forward. After that meeting, there wasn't, I don't think, much desire there. I think with the combination of both, we decided what was best for myself and my family as they decided what was best for them and the Packers."
Nelson turns 33 in May and was due to make more than $10 million this coming season in Green Bay. He was off to a blazing start in 2017 with six touchdowns in the first five games of the season, but did not catch a single touchdown after quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with injury in Week 6.
Nelson finished the season with 482 yards and the six scores on 53 catches. The previous season, his first following a knee injury that cost him all of the 2015 season, Nelson led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches.
He is in the top five in Packers history in career catches (550), receiving yards (7,848) and touchdowns (69).
"I think the hurt part was, to be honest, was the unwillingness to try to make it work," Nelson said. "But then again, it's a business, and they have to do what they think is best. What they need to do is to be able to move forward and prepare for the future of the Packers. But I think that was just part of it, but that's the way it is. I'm definitely not the only one that's been cut or released when you don't think it's going to happen, and it's not what you want to hear when you go into a meeting with them. But we've moved on."
--Field Level Media