GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It's been a whirlwind day in Titletown. The Green Bay Packers have released fan and team favorite Jordy Nelson and, according to reports, signed TE Jimmy Graham and DE Muhammad Wilkerson.
Tuesday night, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers released a statement on Instagram about Nelson's release. It says:
"Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me. No teammate exemplified what it means to be a packer quite like him. From living in GB 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."
Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst held a news conference Tuesday night.
He would not address whether Nelson discussed a pay cut with the team before his release.
He said Aaron Rodgers was informed about the decision to cut Nelson after it was made.
Gutekunst does not anticipate a reunion between the Packers and Nelson, as of right now.
“We cannot thank Jordy enough for all that he has given the Green Bay Packers and our community for the past 10 years,” said GM Brian Gutekunst. “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.”
Nelson, 33, played 136 regular season games with the Packers. He's No. 3 in team history in receptions with 550; No. 5 in receiving yards with 7,848; and No. 2 in touchdown receptions with 69.
Nelson has played with the Packers for his entire career. The Packers selected the Kansas State standout as the 36th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Nelson was the NFL receiving touchdowns leader in 2016. That's the same year he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Nelson was out for the entire 2015 season after tearing his ACL in his right knee.
Nelson was a fan favorite and favorite target of QB Aaron Rodgers. Nelson's numbers slipped last season after Rodgers was sidelined with a broken collarbone.
It's a money decision. Nelson was making $11 million per year and the Packers were looking to clear some room under the salary cap.
Nelson was beloved by Packers fans for sharing the spotlight with his family. The Nelsons have spoken about their adoption of two children. Click here to read about the family's second adoption.
Nelson took over for Donald Driver in hosting the yearly charity softball game played at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The Timber Rattlers will make an announcement on the game at a later date.
JIMMY GRAHAM SIGNING
The loss of Nelson happened on the same day as news of the signing of TE Jimmy Graham to a three-year deal, as reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport called it a "huge move" for Green Bay.
Graham has played for the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks.
He's a five-time Pro Bowler and has led NFL tight ends in touchdown receptions.
No other information was released on Graham's potential deal with the Packers. Action 2 News will update this developing story.
PACKERS FULL STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF JORDY NELSON
The Green Bay Packers have released WR Jordy Nelson. General Manager Brian Gutekunst announced the transaction Tuesday.
Nelson, who was selected by the Packers in the second round (No. 36 overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Kansas State, played in 136 regular-season games with 88 starts during his 10 seasons with Green Bay (2008-17). He ranks No. 3 in franchise history in receptions (550), No. 5 in receiving yards (7,848), No. 2 in touchdown receptions (69) and No. 3 in 100-yard receiving games (25). Nelson is the only player in team annals to record three seasons with 13-plus touchdown receptions (2011, 2014, 2016). He and Sterling Sharpe (1992-94) are the only players in franchise history to register three straight seasons with 85-plus receptions (2013-14, 2016).
“We cannot thank Jordy enough for all that he has given the Green Bay Packers and our community for the past 10 years,” 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.”
Nelson has posted 1,250-plus receiving yards and 13-plus touchdown catches in the same season three times in his career (2011, 2014, 2016), the fourth most in NFL history behind Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (six), Randy Moss (five) and Terrell Owens (four). Nelson was selected to the Pro Bowl and named second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press for his performance during the 2014 season in which he set career highs in receptions (98) and receiving yards (franchise-record 1,519) while also hauling in 13 touchdowns. After he missed the entire 2015 season due to a knee injury, Nelson became the first Packer to be named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year by AP after registering 1,257 yards on 97 receptions (13.0 avg.) with a league-high 14 receiving touchdowns in 2016.
In his 10 years with the Packers, Nelson started eight of the 13 postseason games he appeared in. Nelson is the franchise postseason leader with 54 receptions, ranks No. 4 in receiving yards (668) and is tied with Randall Cobb for No. 3 in receiving touchdowns (five). He led the Packers with nine receptions for 140 yards (15.6 avg.) and a touchdown in the Super Bowl XLV victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nelson was just the fourth receiver in Super Bowl history with nine-plus receptions for at least 140 yards and touchdown.