Donald Driver knew his time in a Green Bay Packers jersey was over with one look at coach Mike McCarthy. The two had their season-ending meeting after the Packers lost to the 49ers in the playoffs and the 14-year veteran could tell what was coming.
"I just kind of knew in his eyes," the wide receiver who spent his entire career in Green Bay told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein. "When you've known a guy for so long and you're friends, it's hard for him to tell you that they're not going to bring me back. I just kind of looked at him, and I just kind of knew that that's what they were going to do.
"I just wanted to make it easy on the organization, not put any pressure on them and just be able to walk away on my own terms and not have them say, 'We're not going to bring you back.' "
Driver announced his retirement this week and with it the fact he will always be known as a Green Bay Packer. A retirement ceremony will be held Wednesday in the Lambeau Field Atrium. That last distinction was important to him.
"It was just time, sitting down with the wife and kids," Driver said. "I've always said I never want to wear another uniform. I've always said that I owe it to the fans to retire a Packer.
"I feel like I can still play, but if I can't play for my organization, then I can't play for anyone else. I'm happy with the decision I made."
Packers fans are also grateful. Agree with it or not, that means something in Green Bay. Brett Favre's legacy is the No. 1 example. Some fans will never get over the retirement back-and-forth and his career ending with the hated Vikings.
Driver will always enjoy revered status in Wisconsin.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.