The move likely frees up salary cap space. Nelson was set to make $12 million in the final year of his deal. Releasing him will free up $10 million in cap room as the Packers prepare to resign quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Nelson had a down year last season, with only 53 catches last year for 483 yards.
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news. The team confirmed Nelson's release in a news release later in the day.
Packers fans wanted off-season moves. They got them today.
Going to sign TE Jimmy Graham.
Going to release WR Jordy Nelson.
Nelson has played for the Packers his entire career, starting in 2008. He was a vital part of the Superbowl XLV, catching a touchdown pass from Rodgers against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.
In that same game, Nelson set up the game-winning touchdown with a 38-yard catch to the Steelers' 2-yard line. Greg Jennings sealed the championship victory two plays later.
The Packers selected Nelson in the second round of the draft in 2008 out of Kansas State. He has played 136 regular season games with 88 starts.
Nelson ranks third in franchise history in receptions (550), fifth in reception yards (7,848), second in touchdown receptions (69), and third in 100-yard receiving games (25). He is also the Packers' leading postseason receiver with 54 receptions.
“We cannot thank Jordy enough for all that he has given the Green Bay Packers and our community for the past 10 years,” General Manager Brian Gutekunst said in a statement. “He has been an exemplary professional and teammate and greatly contributed to our success. Jordy will always be a member of the Packers family and we look forward to his eventual induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. We wish Jordy, his wife Emily, and the rest of their family all the best.”
Nelson has been a fixture on the team for the last 11 years on and off the field. He is an adoption advocate and has adopted two children with his wife. He also serves as an ambassador for the adoption organization Jackey Being Family Foundation.