Aaron Rodgers posts heartfelt tribute to Jordy Nelson after Nelson's release

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers added a significant weapon on Tuesday with the reported addition of tight end Jimmy Graham, but he also lost one as well.

Not long after the news of Graham’s three-year deal with the Packers broke, the team announced the release of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, a longtime target of Rodgers.

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Nelson arrived in Green Bay in 2008, a few years after Rodgers. Naturally, Nelson’s departure is tough pill to swallow for the two-time MVP.

“Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me,” Rodgers wrote in an Instagram post. “No teammate exemplified what it means to be a Packer quite like him. From living in Green Bay full time, his incredible contributions to the city, state, and region, to his consistent, reliable play on the field. Definitely a sad day and the toughest part of this business. There will never be another quite like white lightning.”

Over their nine years in Green Bay together, Rodgers and Nelson connected for 65 touchdowns, more than any other quarterback-receiver duo in franchise history. Nelson, 32, ranks near the top of the team’s record books with 550 receptions (third), 7,848 receiving yards (fifth) and 69 touchdown catches (second).

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers shakes hands with Jordy Nelson before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

By moving on from Nelson, the Packers save $10.2 million in salary cap space.

“We cannot thank Jordy enough for all that he has given the Green Bay Packers and our community for the past 10 years,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said. “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.”

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!