The world will never know if the Green Bay Packers could've benefited from doubling back and grabbing Jordy Nelson when they had the chance, but the veteran receiver believes so. The 35-year-old decided to call it a career when he announced his retirement in March 2019, but not before wondering what a possible reunion with the Packers would look like. A former second-round pick in 2008, Nelson spent a decade building his legend in Green Bay before going on to join the Las Vegas Raiders in 2018.
At the time, he was open to staying put with the only franchise he'd ever known, but it was not to be. When the Packers didn't make a concerted effort to keep him around, he headed west, but to this day believes there was still juice left in his tandem with Aaron Rodgers.
"I definitely think I could have helped them," Nelson said, via the Wisconsin State Journal. "I don't know what kind of player I'd be if I sat here and said, 'No, I wouldn't have been able to help them.' I think the track record between Aaron and I, I think we could have been productive no matter what year it would have been.
"I think we proved it over the time, year-in and year-out. We were both very productive. And until proven otherwise, I would say yes, I would have been able to."
Needless to say, the duo was dynamic in Nelson's time with the team. Rodgers enjoyed the luxury of knowing whenever he threw the ball to Nelson, more often than not, it was a big play. The former wideout finished his career in Green Bay having reeled in 7,848 receiving yards (fifth-most in franchise history) on 550 catches and 69 touchdowns (second-most in both categories), averaging 14.3 yards per catch in the process.
He suffered a downturn in production in 2017 but delivered 739 receiving yards and three touchdowns for the Raiders, leading some to wonder if the Packers would attempt to woo him out of retirement to help Davante Adams.
To put it succinctly, however, it's not happening.
"We're not coming back," Nelson said, definitively. "There's no doubt about that. We're done. I've always laughed and talked to [my wife] Emily about it -- when you first get in the NFL and you're performing very well, you're underpaid; and then when you sign a big contract, you become overpaid.
"When you're towards the end of your career, you get released and people say you're too slow, you've lost a step, and you can't play anymore. And then apparently when you retire, everyone wants you to come back. I'm confused on what I need to do, so I'll just stay at home.
"No one's ever satisfied."
And there it is.
So as the Packersin 2020 after choosing to , they won't find any assistance waiting for them in Nelson, who was open to a reunion before he hung up his cleats for good.