Aaron Rodgers releases Instagram statement about Jordy Nelson's departure

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His yards per catch was 9.1 in 2017 and he managed just 53 receptions and 483 yards in 15 games, which was much lower than previous years.

It had to happen at some point, but most Packers fans would've preferred later down the road.

Packers tight ends combined for only two touchdown catches last season - tied for the fewest in the NFL.

Nelson has been one of Rodgers' favorite targets for several years, catching 195 passes for 2,776 yards and 27 touchdowns from 2014-2016 despite missing the entire 2015 campaign with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

It was that kind of emotional swing on Tuesday afternoon, when one minute ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Packers will sign Graham - perhaps the top free-agent tight end - and 14 minutes later he reported that the Packers would cut Nelson. But his body control may have been better than anyone who has ever caught passes in Green Bay.

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According to Pro Football Reference, the Kansas State product joined Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski as the only players to register at least 4,000 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns between 2010-2017. Wilkerson is unlikely to deal with the level of distractions in Green Bay that he did in NY, and he'll join a strong locker room with established leaders in Aaron Rodgers, Daniels and Clay Matthews, among others.

Cutting Nelson, 32, will give the team more than $10.2 million in cap space.

Seattle thought the 6-7, 265-pound Graham would be the ideal solution to that problem and also had been increasingly anxious about the future of Unger, who played just six regular season games in 2014 due to injuries and had also missed three games the season before.

A prove-it year is on the way for Nelson in 2018 - if he decides to play at all. Cobb was given his chance in 2015 to be the go-to guy, when Nelson missed that season, but it didn't happen. While Graham is 31 he hasn't exactly been stressed in Seattle the last three years.

Nelson made a base salary of $8.25 million last season with the Packers, per overthecap.com, but could command less coming off a less productive season.