Aaron Rodgers Pays Tribute To Jordy Nelson

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"Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me", Rodgers wrote on Instagram.

In Cobb, the Packers stuck with a younger player who will turn 28 during training camp. Back then, Nelson was an incoming rookie for the Packers, while Rodgers was getting ready to be the starting quarterback in Green Bay for the first time. That's a team that may need Nelson more than the Patriots.

The QB also retweeted two of his offensive linemen with strong opinions about the Packers letting Nelson walk.

Nelson has played with the Packers for his entire career.

"I'm told Jordy Nelson knew he was being released and that he was already targeting the Patriots as a potential suitor".

The Packers picked Nelson in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft and he has 550 career catches for 7,848 yards and 69 touchdowns.

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However, the Pats remain the best option for Nelson out of those teams if he wants the best chance to play in the Super Bowl next season. A hypothetical Amari Cooper-Nelson-Seth Roberts receiving trio is apparently an upgrade in Oakland's eyes over a Cooper-30-year-old Crabtree-Roberts trio.

And whatever this is worth, according to several former teammates' responses on Twitter after his release and others' testaments, Nelson is considered a top-tier locker-room presence.

Nelson finished with just 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns a year ago, but that's due in large part to the fact that Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Week 6 and missed most of the season thereafter. By cutting Nelson, the Packers saved over $10 million in salary-cap space. The Timber Rattlers will make an announcement on the game at a later date.

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.

He's a five-time Pro Bowler and has led National Football League tight ends in touchdown receptions.