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LeRoy Butler Suggests Patriots Should Trade for Jermichael Finley

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LeRoy Butler Suggests Patriots Should Trade for Jermichael Finley

Following the arrest of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in relation to a homicide investigation in Massachusetts and subsequent release from the team, former Packers safety LeRoy Butler suggested on Twitter that the Patriots should trade for Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

Finley is in the final year of a two-year contract signed with the Packers before the 2012 season.

In addition to Hernandez, the Patriots face uncertainty at the tight end position with All-Pro Rob Gronkowski recently undergoing back surgery and his status in question for the start of the 2013 season.

The Patriots do have other options at tight end, including Jake Ballard, but none as accomplished as Finley.

Finley has gained a reputation as a ultra-talented tight end who's been productive when healthy, but unable to become an elite player in the NFL mainly due to inconsistency.

While the Packers might like to receive compensation immediately instead of getting delayed compensation if Finley were to leave via free agency, it would seem unlikely Green Bay would be interested in trading Finley at this point in time.

Finley is the only tight end currently on the Packers roster who has demonstrated an ability to stretch the field and be a playmaker in the passing game.

With approximately $13 million in salary cap space available to spend either this season or roll over to next season, it's also possible the Packers could choose to offer Finley a contract extension.

Not unlike Finley, Butler has a history of being outspoken on social media with suggestions that include (but are not limited to) signing Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension about a year ahead of time and the Packers wanting Charles Woodson back following the NFL Draft.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (72) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac3444's picture

I love Butler as a player but I am pretty glad he isn't our GM

Franklin Hillside's picture

Pretty glad, or VERY glad?

Brooklyn81's picture

+1

djbonney138's picture

I can see both sides of this. I just think we have too many up and coming receivers to let Finley leave.

JakeK's picture

Why would the Pats trade for Finley? Finley will be available after the season as a FA.... However, trade Finley for a 2nd rounder !!... The Pack would jump for even a 4th rounder. A 2nd would be a steal for the Pack.

Drealyn Williams's picture

In the Pats case,they're in it to win NOW. Maybe that's where Butler was coming from.

Jamie's picture

You do realize there is a difference in trading for a player vs waiting until the player is a FA and thus able to sign with any team interested, right?? The Pats have no control in that situation.

I would suspect if the Packers let Finley walk, he will have a fair number of suitors and his price will be driven up.

The Pats could trade for him and sign him to an extension in the process...not the dumbest thing in the world to do with their TE situation. Though I have no knowledge of their thoughts on Finley's value, which would affect things.

I'd rather keep him, but the Pats having an interest won't be based on the possibility he would be a FA next year.

Point Packer's picture

"However, trade Finley for a 2nd rounder !!… The Pack would jump for even a 4th rounder. A 2nd would be a steal for the Pack."

No it would not. He's the only proven TE on the roster and is a critical piece to the 2013 puzzle for the Pack. Even if we only have him for one more year, he's a stop gap for the future transition at TE. And regardless of his drops, he is still a top tier TE that causes match-up problems for opposing D's. He is valuable, regardless of the haters.

Trading Finley for a 4th rounder would be a bargain for the Pats and a horrendous deal for the Pack.

JakeK's picture

Look at his numbers. He's not even a top-ten TE in the NFL but yet he's the 3rd highest paid TE in the NFL.... Don't start feeding anyone all this crap about how he opens up GB's offense... That's a myth... Cobb is the new receiver who opens up the passing lanes, not Finley.

Drealyn Williams's picture

I hate stats...

Tom's picture

It has been said before, but go back and watch closely and you'll see that Finley is in motion more than any other WR/HB/TE before the snap. He's such an athletic talent that Rodgers can use him to force a defense to tip their hand. That's not to say that he's the most versatile player on the roster (certainly not with Cobb around), but to say that just because his stats aren't in line with his pay doesn't mean that his value isn't. How often have you seen TT overvalue anyone? I think his contract numbers (salary + years) speak volumes about what the front office thinks of him. Highly talented and an integral part of the offense, yes. Under-performing and inconsistent, yes. It's strange that those things can go hand-in-hand, but as I see it that's what gets him so much flack. Stats just don't tell the whole story.

Stroh's picture

Your a fool.

JakeK's picture

Actually what Tom has posted is a good analysis. Really don't know why you'd call him a fool.

Regardless, 2013 is it for Finley as a Packer.... I see him returning to Texas, maybe the Cowboys or Texans.... After 2013, I say... Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Point Packer's picture

Finley had 61 catches last year, good for 9th most by a TE in the 2012/2013 season.

I would be willing to bet, if healthy, he gets over 70 catches this year.

And to piggy back off Tom's comment - any TE that forces the Defense to line up a safety and/or corner against him is a valuable commodity. Finley does that, allowing for more single coverage looks for our WR's.

Its only speculation, but I'd be willing to say that Finley's presence played a role in JJ's 14 TD's last year.

The guys a weapon, albeit with occasional lapses of butter fingers.

Stroh's picture

Jake iwas responding to YOU. Now your in denial too. Perfect. Foolish and in denial is no way to live!

Skippy's picture

The butter fingers and the fact that he really doesn't care about blocking anyone are the real problems. He's not a complete TE by any means. If Quarless is healthy and DJ gets more reps, Finley is going to be history.

Brooklyn81's picture

Finally someone who makes some sense

Point Packer's picture

Skippy - Few TE's in the NFL are "complete TE's". Very few can affectively block and catch 70 balls a year. It is rare these days given the speed you need to have as a receiver and the strength/size you need as a blocker on the line.

I am by no means defending Finley's blocking - some give it more effort than others. That being said, J-Mike ain't out there to push the D-line forward or seal the corner.

Dude is in a contract year, we have a shot at the SB ever single year with #12 at the helm - let him show his stuff in the green and gold for his big paycheck.

Skippy's picture

Finley is already on a show his stuff contract. 2012 and 2013 he's been the most overpaid TE in the NFL. He's entering his 6th year as a Packer. It's possible you've already seen the best of Finley. Thompson will go in another direction after 2013, I'm pretty sure. You liking him has nothing to do with it.

Stroh's picture

Skippy... If he goes out and puts up 70 rec 850 yrs and 8 TD's Finley will be back. Is it possible he's as good as he'll be? Sure, but he's easily got the potential to bust out! Name the last time Thompson didn't resign one of his players when they're not an injury risk and been productive the past couple years! Yeah, its never happened to a player in his prime. Its not like Finley's contract would go up much, he's already at the high end for TE's. For as much as you don't like him the Packer have kept him around for a reason! He's been productive on the field, gotten over the drop issues (just like James Jones) and he has a LARGE impact on teams game plans whether you want to admit it or not. Honestly, I think Finley puts up 70 rec fairly easy and gets re-signed. It more likely to happen IMO, than it is that Finley walks after this year.

Might as well go buy that Finley jersey, he's getting another 4 years after '13.

Oppy's picture

@Stroh,

Jason Spitz, Daryn Colledge, Cullen Jenkins*, Breno Giacomini, Brady Poppinga, Marviel Underwood, Tony Moll, Will Blackmon, Aaron Rouse, Brandon Jackson, Matt Flynn, Jarius Wynn, Quinn Johnson.

Some of these guys we can argue weren't productive, I guess- Moll wasn't very effective, Johnson was a mismatch for our scheme, Rouse and and Giacomini were gone before they developed.

none the less, all drafted by TT and let go in their relative primes.

I think the real issue with Finley is he's too proud to take a pay-cut, and let's face it, even if he has a very good year he's not worth the kind of money he's making these last two years of his current contract, at least not to the Packers. Is he the type of player that would take the security of a longer-term contract at the cost of lowering his yearly pay roll? I don't know if he is.

If Finley doesn't have a significantly better year- a dominant year- I have to think the Packers will decide it's time to move in a different direction.

*Jenkins wasn't drafted by TT, but stilll a in his prime and healthy

Stroh's picture

@oppy
Its your opinion he's not worth it. Icant see him getting a raise. We'll see how the Packers value him this time next year.

Stroh's picture

Oppy

Btw Jenkins was injured almost yearly including 5 games his last year in '10. Hard to say he was healthy!

Evan's picture

I would hope this Hernandez saga would give Packer fans a tad more perspective when it comes to Finley's "character issues."

Franklin Hillside's picture

You would hope. Unfortunately, I think this hope is wasted.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Thank you!

cow42's picture

I could not care less about his character.
They are all just guys in green shirts to me.
I just want him to play better.

I do not want the Packers to trade him at this time.
Although if a 2 was offered, I would bet that the Packers would do it in a millisecond.

By the way...
I don't think anyone's gonna offer a 2 for Finley.

Point Packer's picture

Agreed on all counts.

Stroh's picture

I bet Thompson would want 1st. Pats 2nd is basically a 3rd and they in dire straights. I think Finley is still in the Packers plans beyond '13.

Mojo's picture

Just because you haven't murdered someone, doesn't mean you can't have character issues. I know some of you could give two @hits about character, but I do. I get no joy cheering on someone who treated others like crap, even if it's short of murder or if he wears the right colors. But hey, that's just me.

As far as trading Finley for a second I would do it. And not so much because of Finley's character(I do think we'll being hearing about some Finley baby mamas in the future), but because that's a good draft choice for someone I don't think will be on your team next year. Plus you immediately free-up around $8 mil. in cap space to help resign some of the other priorities. And, who knows, maybe given a chance, D.J. William could be a good receiver. It's not that you'd lose a lot as far as a blocking TE.

zeke's picture

"I do think we’ll being hearing about some Finley baby mamas in the future."

Why do you think this?

Mojo's picture

This and some other similar stories came out about a month ago : http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2013/04/21/jermichael-finley-baby-ma...

Of course it's just hearsay, but where there's smoke .....

Anyway, IF it's true I have much more more to question about Finley's character. His speaking his mind never bothered me much, but this would. I know that having kids and letting everyone else take care of them doesn't bother some people, but to me it's reprehensible. And I'm not talking just monetarily.

Anyway to repeat, even if Finley's character isn't questionable, I think it would be a good trade for the high draft pick and cap-relief for a guy we probably aren't going to resign. The Pat's are hurting, regardless of what anyone thinks. The Pack & Pats have been willing trade partners in the past, and I don't think the whole thing is inconceivable.

Evan's picture

"Just because you haven’t murdered someone, doesn’t mean you can’t have character issues."

Of course not. But as I said, I do think it helps put things in perspective. When someone like Hernandez or that Browns rookie who was accused of murder come along - players with "real" character issues - I think it makes people complaining about something as innocuous as Finley's mouth look silly.

JakeK's picture

@ Evan

Wow!... You have to pick a player who's possibly involved with a murder to make Finley look acceptable ??

There's absolutely no connection between Hernandez & how Packer Fans view Finley. Posts like yours are best... unposted.

Evan's picture

Why so angry, buddy?

JakeK's picture

Not even remotely angry... Only astounded.

More straw man posting by you... Focus on the issue.

"There’s absolutely no connection between Hernandez & how Packer Fans view Finley."

Evan's picture

Having a bad day, are we?

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Oh, Leroy. Leroy, Leroy, Leroy.

Bearmeat's picture

I'd do it - if the Past (or any other teams other than the Vikings/Bears/Lions) were dumb enough to offer a 1.

That won't happen.

And I don't think GB can afford Shields/Raji/Finley in the same offseason.

Phatgzus's picture

Well they have $13M in cap room as of right now and they're going to have a whole sea of free agents next year besides those 3: Jones, Pickett, Wilson.

JakeK's picture

It's a catch-22 for GB. If Finley has a big year for the Pack this year then he'll cost too much going forward. If he has a lousy year, GB will let him walk... Either way, Finley has less than 20 games remaining as a Packer.

Bearmeat's picture

yep

Skippy's picture

Agree completely.

If Quarless is completely healthy and looks good in preseason, a 2nd for Finley would be great. Too bad the Pack won't know this for awhile yet.

redlights's picture

My opinion of Finley's longevity in GB is the same as your's. That being said, I wouldn't trade unless I could get a 1 and conditional mid rounder. I know there is terrible friction about his value, but that is his value in my mind as a Packer. The Patriots are that desperate; supply and demand, you know?

That said, let's acknowlege the bigger issue here: a man was murdered. And the CLE rookie was arrested for murder, as well. These are lives; families. A far cry from our blogs and fantasy leagues.

Phatgzus's picture

Attempted murder (not that that's any better, but), come on peeps get it straight.

Oppy's picture

There is absolutely no way Finley's value is worth a 1st round pick to any team in the league, least of all, the Patriots, period.

Packers should take a mid-3rd round pick if one was offered. If someone gave up a 2nd round pick, it should be a mad scramble to get the paper work done on that trade, it would be a huge value for the Packers.

Just being realistic. Player trades aren't frequent in the NFL, and 1st and second round picks are typically spent on consistent top-level performers and elite talent... Of which, unfortunately, Finley has not proven himself to be.

BareButt's picture

Agreed also!

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

A nickels worth of free advice:
You're going to want to put some pants on if you're going to frequent this place.

Bearmeat's picture

or the Packer jersey on the chick in your avatar....

BareButt's picture

Rats
Speling was never my strong soot

I meant Bear Butt.

Please forgive.

Sir Cheese's picture

We have a lot of UFA 's next year, I'm wondering who you guys would prioritize between Burnett, Shields, Raji, J.Jones, Finley, or EDS?

Stroh's picture

Shields will get the money Tramon vacates after this year. One down.

Raji gets a nominal raise which comes from a decrease from Pickett. Two down.

Jones won't get a huge raise. He's a good #2, but not a true #1. He can get a 2M raise or so, not much more. Difference coming from release of Hawk.

EDS will get a mid level contract for a Center. About 3 or 4M, mostly coming from Hawks and the 13M in cap space.

Burnett will come out of the 13M the Packers have in cap room.

Finley if he were to get a raise would be minimal, and he's already accounted for this year, so re-signing him won't be alot more expensive.

This is rather simplified, but in many ways makes the most sense. No reason all can't be kept w/ the cap space we now have and the release of Tramon and Hawk.

JakeK's picture

Good try Stroh but .... you've managed to resign only a few of the potential free agents GB will have after 2013...

You have no interest?? in ... Neal, Quarless, Pickett, Newhouse, Jolly, CJ Wilson, Francois, Kuhn or even Starks.... Some of these (hopefully) won't be around to even be resigned. Some will.... Plus, Nelson, Cobb & Bulaga are all up after 2014...

You want to pass on ALL these to keep someone like Finley?... Try a little more research. It'll help you make more sense.

Stroh's picture

You weren't paying attention where you?! They mentioned the names and I responded to the names mentioned. I said Pickett gets a decrease in pay and none of the guys you mentioned haven't earned a contract worth more than a nominal mid level contract!

Neal hasn't earned a thing yet. Quarless even less! Newhouse is replaceable and Sherrod might already be replacing him soon enough. Jolly and Wilson are fighting for one job this year between them and neither is gonna be difficult to re-sign if the Pack choses to even bother w/ either after this year!

Francois, Kuhn and Starks are you FREAKIN kidding me?! Why would any of them be back beyond this year, much less in '14 and beyond?! Thanks for proving how little you know.

Try again amateur!!!

Phatgzus's picture

I agree, and I have little doubt Kuhn and Quarless would be willing to accept mid-level deals with alacrity; Pickett I'd say is about 60/40 he'll stay, Hell, he might even retire, who knows. As for Neal, that could go one of 4 ways: He plays well, stays healthy, stays or leaves, he plays poorly or gets hurt (Agyin in best Forrest Gump voice) and leaves.

PackerBacker's picture

+1

JakeK's picture

I agree. ... GB will only be able to fill out the roster for the next two seasons with more low cost players. ... In other words, Thompson and the Pack are in a rebuilding mode.... You won't see 11-5 out of this team until a few players step up. ... Who ?? ... At this point, no one knows. ... I don't ... Neither do you.

PackerBacker's picture

JakeK
Please don't pull the rebuilding bull$hit. They aren't rebuilding squat. However, with a salary cap, especially a flat salary cap they will have to part ways with veterans and build on rookies. That's not rebuilding, that's draft and develop. And it's being done to specifically eliminate the need to completely revamp a team every 6 years (see Steelers). TT and his staff have a history of selecting good players. It isn't unreasonable to think that some of the young players (Cobb, Jones, Hayward, Perry, Lacy) will step up and be big players for the team.

JakeK's picture

You haven't presented any facts... So far, only RC is a viable impact player drafted by the Pack in the last three drafts. ... Maybe Hayward. ... Other than that, the rest are wait-and-see ... Teams lose games when they don't replace good players with good players. (Collins, Woodson, Wells, Jennings, Bishop, etc.) ... The list is too long.

Al Fresco's picture

Pack can't afford to let him go. What if he has a killer year as a Pat. Ouch! For a second or third? Ouch.

Nononsense's picture

A killer year? A Patriots TE, you could be on to something.

Norman's picture

Ba dum ching!

al's picture

im keeping finley boy youll don't cut any slack hes a beast him and you can wright this down TE will be better !!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

The only thing certain is that whoever the Packers don't sign after this season - will end up in Minnesota!

Sir Cheese's picture

Pickett, Newhouse, Francois, Kuhn and Starks will all be gone IMHO. Neal and Quarless should be resigned. Not sure about CJ or Jolly at this point.

Fi crane's picture

Plus one aooooooo

steven's picture

If we could get a first then done or a second a a fourth then done. Next question lol

Lou's picture

Why would an organization as astute as the Pat's acquire a player who is making $13M to replace a player making $8M when the lower priced player is twice the player - lets get back to pay vs production guys. Finley is past "potential" as his middle name even at 25 years old, the only reason he remains at that price is the cupboard is bare behind him. "Thompson never overpays" - A.J. Hawk made more money as a 2 down LB with the fewest turnover plays per snap than anyone in history, Brandon Chiller was paid starter money and played 30% of the snaps. All the talk about how Finley opens it up for the WR's is the same BS as saying "Hawk is always available and lines up the defense", thats fan talk for I like the guy but even I know I an not right. Jason Witten is in motion more than Finley, and is 5 times more productive and blocks even though it looks like he is wearing cement shoes.

JakeK's picture

Watch it Lou. ... You'll have Stroh and his aliases calling you names with talk like that. ... True homers make up stuff before saying anything even remotely negative about the Pack.

Stroh's picture

There you go again. Opening your pie hole to troll another argument and prove how ridiculous little you actually know

Lucky953's picture

I don't know much at all. I do know that Finley set a franchise record for catches by a TE last year. Actual fact. Can he do more this year? Probably. Could he get injured? Possibly. Is he going to commit a heinous criminal act? Not likely. Is Quarless ever going to catch 55 balls? I'll take the under.

Lou's picture

In 2010 when Finley missed the last 12 games and playoffs the Packers won the Super Bowl with a TE combination of a rookie TE end (Quarless) and a veteran TE on his last legs (Lee)who would play only 1 more season (Bengals) in the NFL. In that Super Bowl the TE's must have been able to open it up for the WR's because Nelson and Jennings ran wild in the secondary against the Steelers. Not only that, during the run to the playoffs and in the playoffs with the tight end combo Starks was able to run the ball better than anyone expected and has since.

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