What Should The Packers Do With Free Agent Jermichael Finley?

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With Ryan Grant, Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley, Scott Wells, and Matt Flynn all free agents and the Green Bay Packers needing some drastic upgrades on the defensive side of the football, Pack general manager Ted Thompson has some major decisions to make this off-season.

Of the aforementioned names, Finley’s is the most intriguing.  He is one of the most dynamic tight ends in the game (ya know, when he isn’t dropping passes), but should the Packers be willing to give him a long-term extension and for how much?

The M.O. of Thompson has been and likely always will be building through the draft and then signing his own players to extensions rather than scouring the free agent market for already established names.  Our friends at WalterFootball.com rank Finley as the top free agent tight end in the 2012 class.  With play-makers at that position hard to come by, Finley should have plenty of suitors in free agency.

This past season, he finished 11th among tight ends with 767 receiving yards and third with eight touchdowns.  However, his 14 drops were the most among tight ends and became a prolonged problem as the season progressed.  Finley is also one of the more outspoken players in the Packers’ locker room, never afraid to actually say what is on his mind which could be viewed as disruptive to the team.

Since he only turns 25 years old in March, there is still plenty of room for improvement and while the Packers have quality, young depth at the position with guys like Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams, and Ryan Taylor; none of those guys posses Finley’s ability to stretch the field.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that the Packers are interested in signing Finley to a long-term extension and head coach Mike McCarthy spoke very highly of Finley’s work ethic at his end of the year press conference.  If Finley’s price tag is too high, the Packers could use their franchise tag which would mean he would likely make around $5.4 million next season.  However, the green and gold could also use their franchise tag on Flynn in hopes of dealing him and getting some draft picks in return.

We know Thompson will be aggressive in trying to bring Finley back to Title Town since he is still a vital part of the Packers’ offense and causes match-up nightmares for opposing defenses.  We also know that Thompson will not overpay a player and put the team’s salary cap situation in limbo especially with the multiple decisions that need to be made this off-season.

When it is all said and done, I think Finley is still sporting the green and gold next season.  There is just no way in hell that Thompson will open up his wallet and give Finley a Vernon Davis-type (6-years, more than $42 million which he signed at the beginning of the 2010 season.)  I would guess it will be somewhere around the three or four year variety at around five-million dollars per season which would still give Finley a chance to become a free agent when he is 28 and cash in on one more big deal.

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Comments

  1. It doesn’t matter how fast, how big or how strong he is. If he can’t be counted on to reliably catch the ball, all he really is, is a liability. Dump him!

  2. Fourteen drops…that is a lot…Try to sign him to an extension…Contingencies in the contract tied to the amount of yardage, catches, TD’s and number of drops…

  3. Packers will try to resign Finley, Thompson would do well to go for 3 year deal, if Finley can’t catch the ball by end of season next year–turn him loose and let Quarless, Williams or Taylor get their shot. It was put up or shut up time this season and Finley failed the test, Packers can’t keep playing the same game with Finley as the did with Jolly, Harrell–hanging on without much production.

  4. Finley’s advantages outweigh his case of the dropsies. He will be signed to a long-term deal and guess what, he’s only 24. He can learn how to catch the ball. Those saying to drop him are out of their mind. You just don’t find tight-ends with this size and skill set. This year’s playoffs should be a perfect example of that.

  5. he has size and speed but guess what he couldnt catch the ball last year before he got hurt and he still couldnt catch the ball this year. dump him please

  6. donald davenport says

    green bay needs to keep him he is a playmaker when he catches the ball ya need to look at all tight ends and go from there

  7. jeremy ubersox says

    i know he has dropped some passes this season but is still young and creates good match up problems against the other team i say keep him

  8. Re-sign Finley to a 4 year deal and make him improve his game to earn his pay check. Then tag Flynn after they have a verbal agreement with either Cleveland, Miami, or Seattle (perferably Miami) to trade him for draft picks so we can rebuild our DL around Raji, give CM3 his bookend OLB, and find a game changer in the running game hopefully LaMichael James from Oregon. Cut: A.J. Hawk, Erik Walden, Chad Clifton (age), Charlie Peprah, and Pat Lee. Walk: Ryan Grant, Howard Green, and Donald Driver (only because of age and wanting Tori Gurely to be in the picture). Finally we re-sign Scott Wells and put Derek Sherrod in LT where he was supposed to go to sure up our OL. The rest we can handle with undrafted free agents. If Nick Collins can’t play then move Charles Woodson over to safety and let Devon House get his chance at corner along with Jarret Bush after we re-sign him.

  9. paulmbanks says

    If you believe in the other TEs, it sounds like people our pretty high on the 2nd or 3rd year kid Quarless out of Penn St, then why not try to emulate the Patriots with 2 main pass-catching ends. You still have an alpha (like Gronkowski) but also a 2ndary weapon a la Aaron Hernandez.

    GB already has a pass-heavy offense like New England. Also, I would agree with the consensus that you don’t just find a TE on the open market with his skill sets.

    yes, even despite Finley’s issues

  10. paulmbanks says

    @Michael

    “Re-sign Finley to a 4 year deal and make him improve his game to earn his pay check.”

    It’s a nice thought, but good luck with that happening. Most guys get the paper, and well….Good call on LaMichael James though, I like him as a late first round at best, most likely mid 2nd round pick, and a diminutive, electric runner like him would fit in well.

    Not to mention he’d get to keep the same team colors. haha. coincidence.

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