NFL Nation: Dancing with Driver

Donald DriverAdam Taylor/Getty ImagesWhile he continues to compete on "Dancing with the Stars," Donald Driver's football future in Green Bay remains up in the air.
What did you think about the way Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy addressed the future of receiver Donald Driver? At the very least, Driver's future with the franchise doesn't appear to have been decided.

Driver, 37, has said he would be willing to re-negotiate his contract to remain with the team, and last week the Packers made two difficult decisions -- releasing left tackle Chad Clifton and safety Nick Collins -- while Driver remained on the roster. But when asked if Driver is set to go to training camp with the team, Thompson told reporters Saturday: "I would never speculate on something like that. He's dancing right now. Doing good, too."

(As you know, Driver remains apart of the "Dancing with the Stars" cast on the West Coast and, according to ESPN.com's Lynn Hoppes, he's scheduled to dance the Viennese Waltz in Monday night's broadcast. That'll be big.)

It's not unlike Thompson to avoid direct answers on personnel matters. But McCarthy was unusually vague when asked the same question, saying: "No reason to speculate on that. I'm just going to follow Ted's answer to that question."

If Driver was definitely set to return, you would think Thompson and/or McCarthy would have said so. If a decision had already been made one way or the other, there would be nothing to avoid speculating on.

One guess is that the sides are trying to work out a restructured deal but haven't completed negotiations. Another, less likely, possibility is that they have agreed to reconvene after Driver's stint on "DWTS."

There certainly are no hard feelings at this point. McCarthy gleefully admitted he and his family have faithfully watched each "DWTS" episode, which is more than I (and possibly you) can say.

"I didn't realize it was such a tough thing for a man [to watch] "Dancing with the Stars," McCarthy said. "And if I'm not at home, we have to DVR it and watch it as a family. We're rooting him on and voting eight times like you're supposed to. He's doing a great job."

The Packers are well into their offseason program, but the early stages are mostly about strength and conditioning, neither of which have ever been a problem for Driver. Stay tuned.
DriverAdam Taylor/Getty ImagesDonald Driver and partner Peta Murgatroyd will be dancing the Argentine tango on Monday.
Dorothy of Memphis has a request: "Isn't it about time for a Dancing with Driver watch? Donald is representing the Packers and NFL well this season, and it looks like he has a chance to make it to the end. Any chance you'll give him a shout out for all of us die-hard Packer (and DD) fans?"

Well, Dorothy, we are in the middle of one of our busiest 12 months of the season. Offseason conditioning began at NFC North facilities Monday. The 2012 schedule is set to be revealed soon, possibly this week. And a little thing we call the draft will open April 26, whether we're ready or not.

I suppose, however, that we can squeeze in a little time for something that has interested enough Green Bay Packers fans that phone lines have literally been jammed by those trying to vote for Donald Driver to advance on "Dancing With the Stars." A new round of competition begins Monday night, and we should at least recognize that Driver has impressed judges with his emotion and passion.

I'm not committing to a show-by-show breakdown quite yet. I'm going to approach "DWTS" much like most of us look at the NBA. When the playoffs start, I'll get interested. Now I just need to figure out when the "DWTS" playoffs begin.

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