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Jordy Nelson holds retirement press conferenceSubmitted: 08/06/2019
GREEN BAY - Jordy Nelson signed a one-day contract with the Packers on Tuesday and announced his retirement after 11 seasons, 10 of which he spent in Green Bay.

"I'll be remembered as a Packer," the 34-year-old wide receiver said. "Obviously I enjoyed my year last year in Oakland. But this is where I started and it's great to come back and end it that way."

Nelson was known for his speed, size and chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was the starter for Nelson's entire tenure in Green Bay. Rodgers' face lit up as he spoke about his former teammate, who shook hands with both Packers and Texans players following the teams' joint practice.


"Just the little things, the unspoken connection, the back-shoulder throws, the ability to throw it out to a spot and know he's going to be there," Rodgers said. "We just always had that little ability to click on the field. Excited about him in four years. I said, 'I hope I'm on the short list of guys to introduce you for the Packer Hall of Fame.'"

The pair won a Super Bowl after the 2010 season, and Nelson was a big part of the 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, catching nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown that he called his most cherished memory.

"To be able to be there and have that opportunity to score a touchdown there," Nelson said. "To have that football. My son (Royal) turned 1 that week. ... I still remember being down on the field with him and my wife."

Nelson ranks third in Packers history in receptions (550), fifth in receiving yards (7,848), second in touchdown catches (69) and third in 100-yard receiving games (25). He is the only player in franchise history to record three seasons with 13-plus touchdown receptions. Nelson and Sterling Sharpe are the only Packers players to have three straight seasons with 85 catches or more.

"When him and Aaron really started getting on the whole back-shoulder thing, it was just kind of an unstoppable thing," Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said. "They kind of would toy with opponents."

The Packers drafted Nelson in the second round in 2008 out of Kansas State. He emerged as Rodgers' favorite target in the 2011 season following that Super Bowl triumph, with 15 touchdown catches on a team that went 15-1.

"For me, keeping it simple is what did it," he said. "There wasn't much extra stuff."

Nelson missed the 2015 season with a torn ACL. He returned in 2016 and had 97 catches for 1,257 yards and a league-best 14 touchdowns, earning Comeback Player of the Year honors.

But he struggled in 2017, when Rodgers was limited to seven games because of injury, and the Packers released him in the offseason.

Nelson spent last season with the Raiders. He had 63 receptions for 739 yards and three touchdowns for a team that finished 4-12.

"There was no regret there at all," Nelson said. "Obviously the season wasn't what we wanted, but you can't ever determine that. That decision is what we made, and we definitely enjoyed it. We even debated staying an extra year there just for fun, but that place is way too expensive."

Nelson said there were teams interested in his services this season. He even visited with the Seahawks. But he said he didn't want to move his family around the country to extend his career, and he said getting his body ready for games was becoming more difficult.


Instead, he'll return to his home state of Kansas with his wife, Emily, and their three children. He plans to build a new house and has been helping his brother on the family farm.

"We enjoyed it to the fullest," Nelson said. "Made a lot of friendships, a lot of memories. My family's enjoyed it. It's been good."

Story By: Associated Press

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 REGIONAL SPORTS

GREEN BAY, WIS. (AP) - Veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson is retiring as a member of the Green Bay Packers.

The 34-year-old Nelson played in Green Bay from 2008-2017, winning a Super Bowl with the Packers, before spending last season with the Oakland Raiders.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said Sunday that Nelson had informed the team of his decision. A news conference was planned for Tuesday.

Nelson had 550 receptions and 69 touchdown catches in his 10 seasons in Green Bay. He made the Pro Bowl in 2014, missed the 2015 season with a knee injury and was named the 2016 Comeback Player of the Year.

The Packers selected Nelson in the second round (36th overall) of the 2008 draft out of Kansas State. He played in 136 regular-season games, including 88 starts, for Green Bay.

Nelson led the Packers with nine receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's 31-25 Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.

He played in 15 games for Oakland last year, finishing with 63 receptions for 739 yards and three TDs.

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GREEN BAY - Bringing in new head coach Matt LaFleur made a lot of people excited about the Packers offense.

But in the offseason the Packers focused on bolstering Mike Pettines defense by adding five new weapons

For the first time in almost a decade the Packers just might have a defense that can support its offense.

"There are a lot of guys in this room that have a lot of talent and a lot with lots of experience too. I think not being one of the older guys is incumbent enough for us to help them catch up on defense and point things out we've seen over the past few years to help everyone be on the same page," said defensive end Dean Lowry. 

The Packers lined up Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark and Montravius Adams on the d-line at camp.

General Manager Brian Gutekunst decided to release Mike Daniels, leaving cap space to really cash in on Lowry and Clark's veteran talent.

"We've really grown together as football players, for him to still be a part of it and for them trying to keep us together, it's pretty cool," said defensive lineman Kenny Clark.

The secondary is pretty solid too, headlining a young group with second year cornerback Jaire Alexander and new addition safety Adrian Amos.

"Football is about competition and just getting after it. We went back and forth, talking and bringing energy is always great for camp," Amos said.

Riding into his fourth year, linebacker Blake Martinez knows his leadership will help put all the pieces together.

"For me, I hold my hat high on being able to communicate and get guys lined up and make sure they are in the right mindset pre-snap and there's no questions when it's time to play," Martinez said.

Gutekunst said building up the defense means the team won't have to solely rely on Aaron Rodgers to make the magic happen.

Even QB1 notices the stronger presence on the other side of the ball.

"I think Blake is very comfortable as kind of the quarterback of the defense. We've brought in a lot of maturity in that group, with keeping Tramon around, Adrian Amos and the Smiths. It's just a different feel on that side of the ball and little more juice," Rodgers said.

Two crucial players in Pettine's schemes have not participated in the first two days of training camp.

Second-year corner Josh Jackson and rookie safety Darnell Savage Jr. are both on the non-football injury list. LaFleur said neither injury is long term.

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GREEN BAY - Bart Starr, the gentlemanly quarterback and catalyst of Vince Lombardi's powerhouse Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s whose sneak won the famed "Ice Bowl" in 1967, died Sunday. He was 85.

The Packers selected Starr out of the University of Alabama with the 200th pick in the 1956 draft. He led Green Bay to six division titles, five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls.

The Packers said Starr died in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lived. He had been in failing health since suffering two strokes and a heart attack in 2014.

"A champion on and off the field, Bart epitomized class and was beloved by generations of Packers fans," Packers President Mark Murphy said in a statement. "A clutch player who led his team to five NFL titles, Bart could still fill Lambeau Field with electricity decades later during his many visits."

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- TORONTO (AP) Kawhi Leonard had 27 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Toronto Raptors into the NBA Finals for the first time with a 100-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

The Raptors overcame a 15-point deficit to win the series in six games and will host the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

Pascal Siakam scored 18 points, Kyle Lowry had 17 and Fred VanVleet 14 for the Raptors, who used a 26-3 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to turn the game in their favor.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but the NBA's top team in the regular season saw its bid for a first finals berth in 45 years come to a disappointing end with a fourth consecutive defeat.


Down 76-71 to start the fourth, the Raptors tied it with an 8-2 run while Leonard and Antetokounmpo were both on the bench. Ibaka's dunk with 10:32 to go tied it at 78.

Antetokounmpo returned after a timeout, but Leonard kept sitting. That didn't matter to Toronto, with Siakam's basket giving the Raptors an 80-78 lead, their first lead since it was 6-3.

Leonard's one-handed slam after Lowry's steal gave Toronto an 87-79 lead with 6:46 to go before the Bucks responded. George Hill answered with a layup, Brook Lopez converted a three-point play and Antetokounmpo scored to cut it to 87-86 with 5:19 to go.

Lowry and Lopez swapped baskets before Gasol's 3 put the Raptors up 92-88 with 3:50 left. After another basket by Lopez, Leonard made a 3 to push Toronto's lead to 95-90 with 3:04 to play. It was Leonard's first 3 after missing his first seven attempts of the game.

Toronto made 12 of 27 3-point attempts, including four of eight in the fourth quarter.

Siakam, who missed a pair of free throws late in the fourth quarter of Toronto's double-overtime win in Game 3, hit one to make it 98-94. Leonard grabbed the rebound on the second and was fouled. He made both, putting the Raptors up 100-94 with 3.9 seconds to go.

Brogdon and Middleton each made a pair from long range as the Bucks shot 6 for 9 from 3-point range in the first and closed the quarter with 10 unanswered points to lead 31-18. Toronto shot 6 for 19 in the opening quarter, missing six straight twice in the first 12 minutes.

The Bucks extended their lead to 38-23 on a 3 by Ersan Ilyasova with 7:46 left until half. Toronto cut the gap to 46-43 on a 3 by VanVleet with 1:07 left in the second, but Eric Bledsoe answered with a 3 and Antetokounmpo split a pair at the line, giving the Bucks a 50-43 advantage at the intermission.


The lead went back to 15 in the third before Leonard finished the period with a flourish. He had eight points in the final 2:01 and Toronto closed with a 10-0 run, cutting a 15-point deficit to 76-71.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Milwaukee shot 4 for 16 in the second but three of its made baskets were 3-pointers. ... The Bucks had six points in the paint in the first half. ... Coach Mike Budenholzer was called for a technical foul on Milwaukee's first possession of the second half. Leonard missed the free throw. ... Antetokounmpo shot 5 for 10 at the free throw line.

Raptors: Danny Green, who missed all three of his field goal attempts in 16 minutes in Game 5, had another rough night. Green shot 0 for 4 in 14 minutes. ... Leonard's 17 rebounds were his most in any game this postseason. ... Lowry had eight assists.

DRAKE WATCH

Raptors fan and 'global ambassador' Drake sat in his regular seat adjacent to the Toronto bench. The rapper wore a black hoodie with 'KAWHI ME A RIVER' printed on the back.

UP NEXT

The NBA Finals comes to Canada for the first time when the Raptors host the Warriors on Thursday night. Toronto swept Golden State in the regular season.

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MILWAUKEE - MILWAUKEE (AP) " Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Leonard showed no obvious signs of the leg soreness that bothered him in Toronto's victories in the previous two games, hitting the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series. He made five 3-pointers and had seven rebounds and nine assists.

Fred VanVleet scored 21 points, hitting seven 3s. Kyle Lowry added 17 as the Raptors put themselves in position to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time. A victory at home Saturday would set up a matchup with two-time defending champion Golden State.

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TORONTO - TORONTO (AP) " Kyle Lowry scored 25 points, Kawhi Leonard had 19 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 on Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.

Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who improved to 7-2 at home this postseason. Reserve Norm Powell scored 18 points, and Marc Gasol had 17 points and a team-high seven assists.

The home team has won all four games in the series so far. Game 5 is Thursday night in Milwaukee.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the top-seeded Bucks. Khris Middleton scored 30 points.


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MILWAUKEE - George Flores takes pride in his restaurant's Greek food and it's never more important to get right than when Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo stops in for a late night meal.

"His favorite plate is lamb chops and Greek salad and Saganaki," Flores said.

Customers can find all those items and more at Omega Restaurant on the South Side of Milwaukee.

Giannis first started coming to the restaurant in his rookie year, and as he became more famous, people definitely started to take notice.


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MILWAUKEE - The iconic cheese head will forever be a Wisconsin trademark, especially for the Packers.

Thanks to two Milwaukee-based entrepreneurs, Bucks fans can now sport their own pair of antlers during a run toward the NBA Finals.

But their inspiration came less from the mascot and more from the actual animals out in the wild.

Two men who want to help bring awareness to chronic wasting disease molded a new fashion statement for Wisconsin sports fans.

"Where'd you get that hat, that's awesome."

That's the reaction Jesse Meyer and Marc Ownley keep getting when people see the new Buck Head Hat.

"The whole intention was to kind of celebrate our Wisconsin teams and heritage," said Buck Head Hats owner Jesse Meyer. 

A buck head hat is a ball cap with removable foam antlers.

Marc and Jesse were inspired by the impact the cheesehead has had in Wisconsin. So they found a new way to celebrate their home state and its sports teams.

The antlers are very flexible. The foam is quite similar to the cheesehead.

The hats have been most popular for Packers and Bucks fans and even with hunters. The buck head business hopes the hats also bring awareness to chronic wasting disease.

"You can have a good time, you are wearing the loudest, crazy things possible, so it's the perfect fit for that," Meyer said.

Creativity isn't lacking from the two creators. Jesse is a metal fabricator and Marc is a welder.

"Having some background and knowledge of how to make stuff the mold, sculpting the antlers was crucial," Meyer said.

Buck Head Hats has been in business for almost a year.  Marc and Jesse couldn't be more proud of their new creation.

"It's just a matter of celebrating our great state and enjoying life and having a great time with other people while waving the Wisconsin flag," Meyer said. 

The only retail store the Buck Heads are in right now is at Fiserv Forum in the Bucks Pro Shop.

The Bucks' success in the playoffs has sure been a positive for the hat creators.

The Buck Head Hats website has reached people all around the country and is patent pending.


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LOUISVILLE - Maximum Security led all the way in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, only to become the first winner disqualified for interference in the race's 145-year history. After a long wait, 65-1 shot Country House was declared the winner.

Country House finished second in the slop before an objection was raised, causing a lengthy delay while stewards repeatedly reviewed several angles of video footage, before he was elevated into the winner's circle.

The stunning outcome gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his first Derby victory at age 65.

"It feels pretty darn good," Mott said. "It was an odd way to do it and we hate to back into any of these things. We'll just have to prove ourselves in the future."

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NASHVILLE, TN - The Green Bay Packers used their first pick in the first round to draft defensive end Rashan Gary out of University of Michigan. 

With their second first-round pick, they selected safety Darnell Savage Jr. from Maryland.

Gary was a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection, but only started nine games last year due to a shoulder injury.

He is a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and is known as a disrupter up front. 

His stats aren't fantastic, he only recorded nine sacks in the last 2 years among 18 tackles. 

Darnell Savage is a three year starter. He recorded 181 tackles and eight interceptions in 45 career games.

Savage was a 2nd Team All-Big Ten selection last season. He ranked second in the Big Ten and 13th in the country in interceptions in 2018.

He was the first defensive back off the board in this year's draft.

This is the eighth straight year that the Packers have selected a defensive player with their first draft pick.

This is the first time since 2009, the Green Bay Packers had two first-round picks. 

They have three picks in the top 45 for the first time since 1980.

Green Bay will go back on the clock Friday night with the 44th pick in the second round.

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