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Packers Daily Links: Finley Says "I'm Good for Next Year"

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Packers Daily Links: Finley Says "I'm Good for Next Year"

Speaking to the media for the final time of the season on Sunday, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley addressed questions about his future in Green Bay. “We just finished losing, man, and hopefully nobody thought that far,” Finley is quoted as saying by Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “Hopefully, I’m here forever. I’m good for next year as far as I know.” Finley is due a $3.5 roster bonus in March and another $4.45 as part of his salary next season. There are both pros and cons to keeping Finley around for another season. The feeling from this corner of the universe is that he's not worth the money and the headaches. The Packers need to strongly consider adding another receiving threat early in the Draft process come April.

More on Jermichael Finley comes from JSOnline.

Injured running back Cedric Benson is another player whose future in Green Bay is up in the air, but he's expressing his desire to come back for another go-around. “Oh yes, absolutely,” Benson is quoted as saying by Sarah Barshop of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “I don't have a preference to be anywhere else. This is what I know and I'm excited about winning Super Bowls, too, and everybody around here is as well." Benson was only signed to a one-year contract in 2012, so the Packers would have to sign him once again. He brings little risk from a monetary standpoint, but the Packers might have a desire to go a younger route with their running backs.

More on the running backs comes from JSOnline and the Press-Gazette.

There are several difficult decisions that must be made on the defense during the offseason, and it starts with the defensive coordinator. "As the week goes on, (Mike) McCarthy is going to have to decide whether (Dom) Capers has lost his touch and no longer has the ability to keep up with the NFL's increasingly diverse offensive attacks or is a victim of (Ted) Thompson's draft-only philosophy and neglect in acquiring the bruising linebackers and safeties it takes to compete with the physical offenses of NFC contenders San Francisco and the New York Giants," writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Although the decisions start with Dom Capers, they don't end with him. The Packers must also figure out what to do with defensive back Charles Woodson and linebacker A.J. Hawk. Are they worth bringing back for 2013 with such big price tags?

More on the Packers defense comes from the Press-Gazette, JSOnline, Wisconsin State Journal, Fox Sports Wisconsin and AllGreenBayPackers.com.

The Packers have not only one high-profile wide receiver that might be moving on during the offseason, they have two: Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. "Greg Jennings stood quietly at his locker, painstakingly peeling away the tape from the photos of his family – daughters Amya, Alea, and Ayva, son Aice and wife Nicole – that covered the sides of his locker," writes Sarah Barshop of ESPNMilwaukee.com who set the scene on Sunday at Lambeau Field. "The soon-to-be unrestricted free agent carefully moved everything from his locker into a black garbage bag, unsure of whether he would be back in this room again." It appears to be a foregone conclusion that Driver's days as a Packer have come to a close, barring perhaps an unseen rash of injuries. As for Jennings, he's a free agent at season's end. If the Packers want to keep Jennings, they'll have to pony up to retain him. Will they have enough money?

More on Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and other Packers with uncertain futures comes from the Associated Press, Journal Sentinel, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Packers official website and Packer Report.

Linebacker Desmond Bishop was one of the few Packers players on defense to face the media on Sunday. Reportedly, none of the Packers starters on defense showed up. More from Desmond Bishop comes from the Journal Sentinel, JSOnline and ESPNMilwaukee.com.

Analysis of the Packers as the season comes to a close comes from Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel, Cliff Christl and Eric Baranczyk of the Press-Gazette and Al Bracco of AllGreenBayPackers.com.

The frustrations of the Packers offense are touched upon at JSOnline.

Wide receiver and kick returner Jeremy Ross told the Press-Gazette he hopes to return in 2013.

It's official. The Packers have the 26th pick in the NFL Draft.

Video: Donald Driver talks about his future with the Packers courtesy of Fox 11 in Green Bay...

Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (64) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

Losing Jennings AND Finley sure seems like a lot to lose in one off-season. I'm 100% in favor of keeping Finley for another year.

By the end of next season, the Packers should know if Quarless has been able to regain form and if Williams or Taylor have developed into anything worthwhile. But cutting Finley this off-season just creates another whole that needs to be filled.

Evan's picture

*hole

Mojo's picture

A lot of people don't care for Finley, but as far as I know, he's always wanted to stay with GB. I don't get that feeling at all with Jennings. The big thing with Finley is, will he accept a reduced salary? And he's got to be a more willing blocker. Else, I don't mind if he comes back.

Evan's picture

I'm not exactly sure how it works, but I sort of doubt Finley would take a straight up pay-cut. Maybe a pay-cut coupled with an extension? But I doubt the Packers would want to do that. I say just let him play out the year on his deal and see what happens.

Evan's picture

Also, "Thompson’s...neglect in acquiring the bruising linebackers and safeties it takes to compete with the physical offenses of NFC contenders San Francisco and the New York Giants"

That doesn't seem quite fair, considering Bishop and Smith both were hurt early. As for hard-hitting safety, isn't that McMillian's calling card? Sure, he's young and still developing, but he's shown promise.

For the most part, the players are there, I think the issues are more schematic and attitude.

CSS's picture

Also, physicality had zero to do with Kaepernicks yardage on Saturday night. Almost all of his yardage were gained before contact was even made. Does a more physical linebacking core make better reads, have better football instincts or move better in open space? No.

Scheme first and foremost. Linebackers that can function in space secondly. We have great depth among cover corners that can cover. None willing to sell out physically to get off blocks or attack downhill.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

" Almost all of his yardage were gained before contact was even made."

178 of his 181 yards to be exact. Heard that on the radio... And I about vomited.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

"Reportedly, none of the Packers starters on defense showed up."

Been missing all weekend.

Yeah man, Jennings AND Finley at the same time... That's a big effing hit man. Greg is as good as gone so I guess that leaves Finley. I'd like to see him back, but Christ, for $8,000,000... That's a though call given his production, and everything else that goes with him. I think we need to do it though.

GBP 4 LIFE

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Tough that is.

Tarynfor12's picture

Blast me if you will but,even after the lumps the defense got on the field,no excuse to hide like punks from the media.

The character of these guys just get hit...shame on them for not maning up to the fans and the media questions.

Showing softness in multiple arenas isn't smart or good.

Evan's picture

I can't imagine anyone will blast you for that opinion.

redlights's picture

I see it that they either hide and be silent, or come out and blast a)Capers for poor coordinating; or b) the offense for not controlling the clock.

Chasing after a mobile QB gets tiring, esp if your back out there 2 minutes later.

MarkinMadison's picture

Exactly. The 9ers controlled about 2/3 of the clock in the first half - the O made up most of the clock differential in garbage time. Hard enough chasing a 230 lb. QB with 4.4 speed without being on the field too much.

Bugeater's picture

I wonder if that availability decision was made by management rather than the players.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Taryn, I absolutely agree with you.

Hope you saw my response on 'that other' site btw. I wasn't referring to you.

Devil Doc's picture

Maybe I'm being fooled, or just blind, but it seems as though Finley grew up and matured a little as the season progessed. His focus also seemed to be much better in the second half of the year, although he still had his case of the drops, its seemed less and less as the season progressed. I'd like to see what he has to offer next year, especially if/when the Packers will be without Jennings. He could be in for a major upswing in targets and would have an even bigger oppertunity to show he's not just all mouth.

bryce's picture

good point

JJB's picture

Draft the kid from ND he's a stud

Evan's picture

Yeah, that's what people have been saying. And the kid could be great. But by taking him in the 1st round they're bypassing other, more pressing needs in favor of a self-inflicted one. I just don't think that's smart.

CSS's picture

Teo? He looks like another 2-down linebacker to me. There are plenty of those already on the roster and 2-down linebackers don't belong in the 1st round. I love Teo, but feel early draft punditry is grossly overrating his value in today's NFL.

Evan's picture

I figured he meant the TE, Tyler Eifert.

CSS's picture

Possible. There was discussion up-thread on defense and toughness, my bad.

Evan's picture

Yeah, either way I don't think it'd be a smart pick.

devil doc's picture

From rotoworld.com

"'Impending free agent Donald Driver feels like he's proven that he can still play and wants to suit up again in 2013.
"I think I'm just going to see what's out there for me and if teams call and want me to come then I've got to make that decision," said Driver. "If not, if the Packers want me back, then I'll come back."

PackerBacker's picture

"The Packers need to strongly consider adding another receiving threat early in the Draft process come April."

Sorry, but I have to disagree Brian. I think they keep Finley and spend their higher picks on big tough guys. They need another tough ILB (even with Bishop and Smith coming back, they need the depth) they need a interior DL and could use another #1 pick on the OL too.

bryce's picture

Ditto. I'd like to see the Packers take a good RB. With the rookie salary cap, they could afford to.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Not in the first. Or second. Or third. Gotta get some carnivores in the front seven imo.

redlights's picture

If they bail on Finley, then, yes, draft a WR high. I just think that losing that many receivers at once might be too much.

I think at ARodg plays a pivotal role, here. If he's down on Finley, he's gone; otherwise, he stays. Not many players have that kind of pull on personnel, but in this case, I believe he does.

Lou's picture

Finley did improve as the season progressed but he is no where near the player he was the first 2 years in the league. He just does not get much seperation, look at Hernandez and Gronkowski in the same pay grade and they run away from LB's and over DB's. Even slow footed Whitten and 38 year old Gonzalez get more seperation than Finley. It is evident he is not the same after the knee injury, he like Hawk are paid way over any projected production. The sad part is the only one with potential is Quarless who is coming off major surgery, D.J. Williams is a "bust", as evident as Finley's inability to seperate is William's inability to catch even mid range passes, how in Hell did he win the Mackey Award ?

CSS's picture

D.J. Williams was a 5th round pick for a reason, and it wasn't to become a primary offensive weapon. He's a solid special teams player, surprisingly good blocker, and a likely H-back candidate next year. Can't really call a guy drafted in the special teams range of the draft a 'bust'. And college recognition has little to do with pro capability. Johnny Manziel just won every award under the sun and I doubt he's drafted until round 3 in 2015, even if he wins another Heisman.

ted, of bill and ted's picture

i'd like to keep finley next year.

my draft wishlist is filled lineman and linebackers.

i would be pretty happy if ted could find us a couple of no nonsense, big hitting, shit talking giants

ted, of bill and ted's picture

filled with*

Evan's picture

I despise shit talkers. Give me some hard-nosed ballers who let their play do their talking for them.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I want people who hit, and hit hard. I don't give a shnit if they talk. Do they hit... Hard.

ted, of bill and ted's picture

haha @evan and fitz ideally they will do their shit talking after hitting someone hard

no one likes a shit talker who doesn't back it up...finley...lol

Evan's picture

Finley isn't a "shit talker," in my opinion. He just says stupid stuff. Richard Sherman or Cortland Finnegan are. And they both back it up but I still would hate to root for either of those guys on my team.

mark's picture

Matt Elam, safety, Florida fits the bill. I doubt he lasts until 26, but here's hoping.

dawg's picture

With Jennings and Driver almost gone, I too think Finley sticks, one more yr.
Needs: OL coach, OL,DL LB's, and as Bishop stated, need new mind set?
Isn't that coaching?
Gonna be an interesting off season.

MarkinMadison's picture

I know JerseyAl puts this loss on the defense. I understand his argument. The problem I have is that the longest Packers' drive all day was 3:31. The shortest was :42. Even when they were scoring, they moved the ball so quickly that the defense never had a chance to catch it's breath. No defense can win that way. This offense must find more balance, and must stay with it.

I would dump Kuhn in the off-season and get a bruising full back who knows how to run block and pass block. I would pick up a mauler of an OL, regardless of position. There is no position on this OL (G, T or C) that could not be up-graded. I'd pick up a larger RB to complement Harris in the 2nd or 3rd.

The Packers must find bigger faster linebackers. A 3-4 D is all about the LBs. We have 1 great, two goods two question marks and a bunch of mediocres. They need at least 2 greats at LB. It's time to go FA if a quality one is available.

I don't agree with those who want to dump Neal. He is exactly what this D needs - a guy with freakish strength. And he's still cheap. If they need the cap space then Finley and Hawk should have their contracts reduced or they should go.

CSS's picture

I would also like some depth on the offensive line, but this was the first game the offensive line didn't give up a single negative run. Considering it were a road game,they performed extremely well and had for several weeks.

Even if Thompson acquires a fullback and larger offensive line depth it won't matter unless they commit to balance to begin with (i.e. - running the football). I don't believe the talent across NFL teams is that wide, especially among the playoff teams. McCarthy and his staff were frequently out-coached this year, and that was disappointing. I give them credit for overcoming so many personnel loses and inconsistent availability, but they really need to show better game planning and adjustments against the elite teams in the NFL.

I feel, this year, there were more planning failures than talent failures.

Evan's picture

I agree. The o-line played surprisingly well against a very good DL. With Bulaga hopefully coming back 100%, Barclay makes a real solid backup tackle. Ditto for Sherrod.

They could use another interior linemen who can play either G or C to add depth.

Once again, I think the players are there but the scheme is an issue.

CSS's picture

EDS actually played like a starter on Saturday night, not a stop-gap. Every other game I've watched him play I've thought, 'above average interim'. This was the first game he looked like an actual starter. Granted, Sitton and Lang shield some of his shortcomings, but he looked like a player.

Glorious80s's picture

I would like to see what Datko has to offer. Pack should have gotten him some playing time earlier in the second half. He'd have had some experience going into OTAs and they would know if they need to draft more OL. Can not be sure what will happen with Sherrod given the seriousness of that injury.

Barutan Seijin's picture

Where was Neal on Saturday night? I think he played, but he doesn't show up in the boxscore.

He's cheap for a reason: he's just a well-chiseled-&-oft-injured invisible man.

MarkinMadison's picture

He's cheap because he's still on his rookie contract. Woodson talked about getting bigger and faster. Bigger + faster = chiseled.

dawg's picture

WHY dump Neal?

mark's picture

Neal was a beast for the 2nd half of the year. Yeah, he was invisible vs the 49ers, but so was everyone else.

redlights's picture

Has anyone compared our injuries under MM/TT to the rest of the NFL? Seems like too many of our players get IR'd or at least dinged and miss some games. Let's start with reducing injuries: fire the medical or strengh and conditioning staff.

Evan's picture

"Let’s start with reducing injuries: fire the medical or strengh and conditioning staff."

That's nonsense. Shit happens. 2011 - aside from some freak injuries to Collins, Quarless and Sherrod - was about as injury-free as a football season can get.

Besides, I'd much rather the Packers be cautious with their injured players than see them go all Mike Shanahan.

CSS's picture

Go to the ESPN site, look at each individual team under the transaction tab to see how many they've either waived due to injury settlement or placed on IR. You can also look at the injury report from any given week, here's the playoffs:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/injuries

When you dig and look you will see the Packers managed just as many injuries as most teams did. There's nothing different about this staff and their approach from prior years. The same medical staff was with the teams during their last two championship runs.

What about giving the training/medical staff props for how they managed the rest of the team for having Rodgers full disposal of weapons for the game? Neal was healthy. Brad Jones actually stayed healthy after playing snaps he's never played without being injured. Woodson was back, Shields was back.

Bad luck sucks, that's it.

chris's picture

The problem with that site is that it just shows those who are probable, questionable or just plain out, it does not show starters that have been placed on IR. I believe they noted on NBC during the Lions or Vikings game that only the Cowboys had more starters miss time due to injury this year. With us having the most starters miss time due to injury in 2010 and being 2nd this year you really do have to wonder what is going on. It could be something as simple as stretching before and after activity, maybe the Packers don't consider this important, hard to believe the medical staff is at fault since these physicians and other professionals would be the tops in their respective fields. Anyway I have to believe that if you lead the league or come close to leading the league in time missed by starters year in and year out there is a chronic problem that needs to be addressed. For more evidence look at the 49ers vs. the Packers IR or out list, I believe Mario Manningham was the only "significant" injury loss, I'm not even sure he was a starter. After I had 24 hours to reflect on the loss, I went from thinking it was Dom Capers fault to simply realizing that year in and year out injuries seem to have too much of an effect on this team and for the life of me I cannot figure out why this is the case.

CSS's picture

The same site will show you every week, every team and the team sites show transactions. Manning was their #2 receiver. San Francisco was the injury exception, not the league wide rule.

mike's picture

it's time to give up the 3-4.

Evan's picture

Why?

CSS's picture

Because 3 of the 4 teams remaining in the playoffs run a 3-4 and clearly that's an issue....wait, what was I saying?

pooch's picture

If we keep capers ditch the 3-4,he does not know how to run it plain and simple,how more glaring evidence does one need

CSS's picture

Capers and the 3-4 defense are not mutually exclusive. Bottom line looking at today's collegiate athletes and future pros = for every 4-3 end that can pressure the QB there are 3-5 3-4 OLB's that can pressure the QB. It's a hell of a lot easier to find legitimate 3-4 personnel than legitimate 4-3.

Does anybody really believe Green Bay is any more competitive in that game with a 4-3 defense? When you can't show gap discipline in one, why would you show it in the other?

How more glaring evidence does you need?

Ken's picture

It is clear Capers did not scheme correctly and did not get his players ready to stop Kaepernick's runs. Kaepernick ran read otpion at Nevada and Hawaii always defensed him well witih Greg MacMakin as defenseive coordinator and head coach (former U of Miami championship D coordinator and Seattle Seahawks D coordinator). Clear that Capers did not know what he was doing. Even Troy Aikman said he didn't know what Capers was doing when Kaepernick set all time QB rushing record in first half. Usually you put a spy on the QB but often there was no spy and Kaepernick took off. Guaranty that Kaepernick does not get the same rushing yardage the rest of the way. Have to really question whether Capers has ability or energy to keep up with the new offensive wrinkles garnered from college.

Evan's picture

Ha! Now I've read it all.

Evan's picture

Crap. Sorry, meant this as a response to pooch, who said Capers doesn't know how to run a 3-4.

Stupid iphone.

devil doc's picture

I talked about this in a previous story too, but applies more here I guess. The guy to watch for next year is Brandon Bostick....
"Packers signed TE Brandon Bostick, QB B.J. Coleman, OT Andrew Datko, C Garth Gerhart, OG Joe Gibbs, LB Micah Johnson, CB James Nixon and S Chaz Powell to reserve/future contracts.
ProFootballWeekly.com reported in December that the Packers consider Bostick the "X-factor" of their 2013 tight end corps. However, as last year's Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley hype can attest, Packers practice-squad players have been overhyped in the past. Bostick can't be considered a viable Dynasty-league prospect at this moment in time.
Jan 14 - 5:06 PM"

He was a college basketball player and a WR in college...he should give Finley a run for his money, along with Williams and Crabtree.

imma fubared's picture

Findley played his last game as a Packer. He is due a big pay check in the Spring and I think his performance priced him out. Who knows it may open up some money to keep Jennings. Good receivers are hard to find but Jennings is going to want a ton and ain't going to give GB a break on his price. Well's and Jenkins didn't. Football is a business to these guys.

pooch's picture

We do not need jenning,finley is younger with more upside.take finley away and what do you have 4 tight ends that are vanilla at best not to mention one coming back from major knee surgrey and who could not even play this year

pooch's picture

In fact take jennings money and go into free agency and sign a olb,there are several studs out there.Throw in an o.c. and new d.c and change the shape of this team gone stale

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