When it comes to sports, every fan has that one player that made them fall in love with the game. For many Packer fans, that player was Jordy Nelson. Nelson spent 10 years in Green Bay before the heartbreaking news of his release in March of 2018. Rodgers favorite target would not be returning for the Packers 100th season, and for some fans, it was an emotional reality to stomach.
Despite the stats, records, and many accomplishments for Nelson over his Packer career, there are countless reasons why Jordy Nelson returning to the Packers through Free Agency would be the right move. Not just for the team, but for the fans.
With the recent news of Nelson being released by the Raiders, cheeseheads were quick to get their hopes up about a reunion between Nelson and the Packers. These emotions had little to do with the stats, or even his recent game play, but because a team with Jordy Nelson on it feels more complete. There was an emptiness over this last season that was difficult to deal with. Watching the team run out onto the field with no #87 to be seen was a tough pill to swallow for a lot of us.
I know it’s a long shot, but bringing Nelson back for one final season in Green Bay would offer a perfect ending to his career, and a great chance for the fans to give him a proper sendoff. Although analysts say that it is statistically the wrong move to bring him back and it shouldn’t even be considered, many would say otherwise.
Nelson is well-respected among the Green and Gold. His locker room presence and veteran status could have a positive impact on the teams mentality. The Superbowl champion could be a great mentor to the young receiver crew, teaching them the routes and how Rodgers wants them run. It is also safe to say that Rodgers would be much happier having #87 back with him. His first Superbowl touchdown recipient and the second half of the most successful Quarterback-Receiver duo in Packer history would be a great tool for Rodgers to once again have in his corner. Although he’s no longer a young man, the spark between the two wouldn’t take long to reignite.
Nelson is a fan favorite. He made many fall in love with the game of football just by simply being himself. He was a hard-worker who showed up to the field, did his job, and went home to the farm. He was successful, yet humble. The Kansas State walk-on wasn’t a star out of the gate, but over time he developed his game into something extraordinary. He persevered after tearing his ACL and came back to win the “Comeback Player of the Year” award at the NFL Honors after the 2016-2017 season. Not only was he Rodgers favorite target, but a security blanket. Their connection on and off the field was something special, something rare.
Over the years, Nelson has won over the hearts of many Packer fans and developed his own fan base. Anytime Nelson made a play, a big catch, a touchdown, or even the simplest of things, it was a bigger deal than if any other player were to do the same. The sideline catches were a work of art, and the deep threat was unstoppable. And every time Rodgers and Nelson connected, you better believe that this group of Jordy-lovers were jumping out of their seats to celebrate.
When Nelson got hurt, these fans put their heads on the table in disbelief. They were trying to figure out how they would get through a Jordy-less season. The following season, when he made his return post-injury, these fans were emotional watching Nelson get his first touchdown against the Jaguars in his return. Nelson made Packer games all the more special just by stepping out onto the field. The Jordy-lovers don’t care what the stats say, what his age is, or if he has “lost a step” all they care about is that he comes home for one last season.
The Jordy-lovers are begging for one more year. Nelson was released after the season in which Rodgers was out due to a broken collarbone. They didn’t get the satisfaction of one last Rodgers-Nelson filled year. The return of Nelson could be huge, not just for the team, but for the fans. Countless fans would love to see him come back to finish his career where he started, and where they believe he has always belonged. It is time for Jordy to come home.
Whether this actually happens is not within the fans control. Jordy is visiting with the Seahawks on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Other teams who have peaked interest include the Patriots, Titans, Chiefs and Raiders.
No matter where he goes, whether it’s with the Packers or not, he will be supported by his loyal fans.