By Melissa Freund
Sports Assistant Editor
After beginning the season with high expectations, the Green Bay Packers’ road to the Super Bowl was cut short after a 45-31 loss to San Francisco in the second round of the play-offs on Jan. 12.
While the loss to the 49ers was a disappointment to the team’s large fan base, the post-season game could be monumental for another reason; it could mark the end of an era.
Recently, there have been many speculations on what Green Bay’s team will look like next season. A number of the Packers’ dependable veterans are questionable about whether or not they will be sporting the classic green and gold uniform next year. One such player is long-time, wide receiver, Donald Driver.
In his 14 seasons playing for the Packers, the Texas native has made a household name of himself, taking hold of nearly every receiving record for the Packers. Over his career, the four-time Pro Bowler has caught 743 passes and scored 61 touchdowns, as reported by USA Today.
While the loss of Driver could be difficult for cheeseheads to come to terms with, he is not the only set of hands that Aaron Rodgers could lose as a target for the 2013 season; wide receiver Greg Jennings joins him on the list of questionable returners.
According to the Packers’ website, Jennings is listed as a free agent for the upcoming season, and his agent reportedly has not been in contact with the Packers in regards to a new contract for 2013.
According to an article on the National Football League’s website, neither Driver nor Jennings expects that he will be returning to the frozen tundra next year.
Another athlete considering retirement is center, Jeff Saturday. Similar to Donald Driver, Saturday will be turning 38 later this year and has played 14 seasons in the NFL.
After playing only one season with the Packers, Saturday announced late last week that he will be retiring after the 2012 season. Saturday capped off his career on Jan. 27, after competing in his sixth Pro Bowl.
There are a number of big name players who could be saying farewell to Green Bay; however, due to his poor performance early on, the most controversial player of the season was Jermichael Finley.
Bob McGinn, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reported back in December that Finley would not be returning for another year with the Packers.
However, after turning around his performance in the final games of the season, reports now point to Finley being on the Packers’ roster for the 2013 season.