GREEN BAY – Donald Driver’s restructured contract is a one-year deal that will keep him with the Green Bay Packers for the 2012 season. If he plays well and decides he wants to play in 2013, he’ll need another new contract.
Driver’s longtime agent, Jordan Woy, made it clear in an email Wednesday evening that his client’s new contract is predicated on the team’s desire to have him on its 53-man roster for this season, and that it wasn’t just a stopgap restructuring that could result in Driver being released at the end of training camp.
While Woy didn’t divulge specifics of Driver’s new deal, the situation is similar to that of running back Ryan Grant last year. Last August, Grant accepted a $1 million pay cut but had the remaining $2.5 million of his base salary guaranteed by the Packers, essentially assuring him of a roster spot.
“He signed a new one-year deal that has enough up-front money that Donald is guaranteed to play this season,” Woy wrote. “The Packers would not re-sign him if they didn't want him back as an organization.”
ESPN's Andrew Brandt, a former Packers executive, Tweeted Wednesday evening that Driver's deal will pay him a total of $2.5 million in 2012, with an up-front amount of $500,000 that "should ensure his spot (with the) team," Brandt wrote.
Driver had been scheduled to be paid $2.2 million in roster bonuses, including a $1.5 million payment at the start of training camp, along with a $2.6 million base salary and $200,000 workout bonus, meaning he would have counted $5 million against the salary cap. Now, he'll count half that.
“Donald wanted to remain with the Packers. His legacy with the team is important to him,” Woy wrote. “He loves playing for the team and he loves the Packers' fans. Contracts are always tough especially as a player gets older. Donald could have gone elsewhere and played, but I don't think he ever considered that. He was willing to trim some of his salary to remain a Packer. I know he hopes to have a great year and help the team make another run for a Super Bowl.”
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