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Report: Packers Set to Part Ways With TE Jermichael Finley After 2012

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Report: Packers Set to Part Ways With TE Jermichael Finley After 2012

The tenure of one of the most polarizing players in the recent history of the Green Bay Packers may be coming to an end after the 2012 season.

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Saturday that "barring a shocking turn of events," tight end Jermichael Finley will not be returning to Green Bay next season.

Sources familiar with the Packers' thinking say the club not only wants to get rid of Finley but has decided to do exactly that in the off-season.

It means that if the Packers cannot find a trade partner, they are prepared to release Finley because of financial, competitive and behavioral reasons.

McGinn's report is a eulogy of sorts for Finley's time in Green Bay. And taken at face value, any looming decision to part ways appears to come down to money, performance and attitude.

Finley, who has 43 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns this season, is due $4.45 million in base salary in 2013, plus a $3.5 million roster bonus and $300,000 workout bonus. The roster bonus is owed on Mar. 15, giving the Packers a definitive timeline for any trade or potential release.

According to McGinn, Finley will earn $500,000—or his prorated portion of his original signing bonus—regardless of the Packers' decision. But Green Bay can clear millions in cap room from their books by releasing or trading Finley, money they could then use to in new deals for Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji or even upcoming free agent Greg Jennings.

A trade seems unlikely given Finley's contract situation for 2013, but there are tight end-needy teams in the NFL landscape right now, including Reggie McKenzie and the Oakland Raiders.

If Finley was released, the Packers would still have four veterans at the tight end position. D.J. Williams, Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor and Andrew Quarless have all played meaningful snaps over the last three seasons.

According to NFL personnel scouts McGinn spoke to, Finley's loss wouldn't be significant. Ranked by one as the 22nd best tight end in the NFL, Finley was also bashed for his attitude, effort, blocking, route running and, of course, ability to catch the football. The 6-5, 245-pound tight end leads the position in drops over the last two seasons.

For better or worse, Finley has also been one of the most candid and free-talking members of the Packers locker room. For many, it appears, that act has grown tired.

Since being drafted in the third round (91st overall) in the 2008 NFL draft, Finley has 180 catches for 2,282 yards and 17 touchdowns.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (28) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Kathy's picture

Great opportunity for Crab, DJ, Taylor & Quarless. Though after watching them all play, I'd say they are already taking the best advantage of it. Go Pack Go

packsmack25's picture

Poor guy.

Not Finley, he can kick rocks.

No, I mean the guy that fans will now turn their ire toward. He doesn't even know how much of a locker room cancer and terrible hindrance he is on and off the field yet. Poor, poor guy.

cow42's picture

some nominations...

raji
perry
hawk
worthy
newhouse
whoever the center is
whoever the rb is

kennypayne's picture

Crosby?

kennypayne's picture

Bump.

Zeke's picture

If your inference is that Packer fans are always seeking a scapegoat, I don't see it. And if McGinn's sources turn out to be reliable, I doubt TT and MM make the decision based on the ire of the fans.

Zach Kruse's picture

Disagree with your first part. Fanbases always have a guy or two they pile on, fair or not. But you're dead on with the second part.

packsmack25's picture

Fans absolutely use scapegoats. But it doesn't have any bearing on the decisions made by TT and MM, which is one of the reasons why they are good at their jobs. My point is that there's another guy on the team that will draw everyone's venom next year. Fans are never happy.

Lou's picture

The best #88 will always be Ron Kramer. Watching the drops by Finley and the whiffs on the blocks are enough to get him out of town, nobody likes his comments but those are the least of his problems. With the problems they have had the last couple years getting that 1 yard on 3rd and 1 and not seeing them play fake and hit Finley quickly over the middle (he has the same advantage as Marshall size wise) for the first down tells you all you need to know. Jason Witten has lost a couple steps but still get OPEN, and a specimen like Finley can't get seperation, good riddens buddy.

Tarynfor12's picture

There were two players I was totally against signing last year and both have proved nearly useless and worthless in regards to money and expectations on the field with whatever others may have thought could be.

The sad thing with Driver is he believed he was viable and what made that more pathetic was the ORG was afraid to simply tell him he isn't and let him walk.

The case with Finley was more of a self convincing that he was as big a problem for defenses as was heralded through colored glasses and his lack of catching was a mental problem and not an actual ability problem.His size may have intimidated defenses for a while but having a case of the dropsies'like forever'becomes a benefit for them especially on 'move the chain plays'.

I won't care what he does elsewhere no matter how well,I'll just remember or watch how he didn't in Green Bay and thats what matters.

Ruppert's picture

It'll be interesting to see who signs him, and for how much. I would automatically guess the Queens would give him a paycheck, but they have a good young TE. Maybe Detroit? Are the Raiders still signing other teams' problems?

The fan base will probably go back to piling on Jarrett Bush now. Poor guy.

jack in jersey city's picture

i think bush is safe as long as he remains a solid special teams guy and we don't see him out there on defense

Rich Beckman's picture

Just another example that even among the talented, attitude is everything.

I wonder if, seeing free agency possibly in the near future, he starts playing better for the rest of the season.

woodson4president's picture

Now we can grab that TE out of Notre Dame in the draft. If only....

jack in jersey city's picture

O-line is more important this year

Tony's picture

#draftEifert

Joshua Perry's picture

Hawk Sux. Getting that bandwagon started early.

MichaelRose's picture

This pisses me off.
Regardless of the merits of his argument, Bob McGinn does it again, and it's stupid. The Packers are playing the Bears today, to seal up the division title. What do you choose to write about? Finley. Has he played poorly as of late? Not at all. It'd be different if he was coming off a bad game and it was Tuesday or Wednesday, but no, on Sunday morning, before a crucial divisional game. I hate it.
As a reminder, McGinn posted his "Trade Greg Jennings" article the day before our last matchup with Chicago. And we talked about Bob McGinn's article instead of that game. Stupid.

kennypayne's picture

Reporters are not team cheerleaders. If McGinn had this info and sat on it until after the season the fan base would be complaining about the press not disclosing pertinent information in real time.

In any event, I don't think the "trade Jennings" article hindered GB's performance before the last Bears' game.

I bleed Green More's picture

It makes no sense to me, is he trying to really ruin it here or what. Maybe he wanted to scoop other reporters.

zeke's picture

McGinn doesn't work for the Packers; he's a reporter. If you want to question motives or the timing, question his sources. They know who they're talking to and what he does for a living.

MichaelRose's picture

Point is the timing. And I am questioning it. He's had those conversations before yesterday. It's not "news" that deserves immediate attention, it's an editorial piece. Those contract terms have been known since the day he signed.

zeke's picture

I didn't read that to be an editorial piece. Seems to me that what McGinn was reporting is that his sources say that Finley is done after this year. I don't see where McGinn is advocating a particular position, and while the terms of the contract have been known since it was signed, the fact that (according to sources) the Packers have decided to move on is what makes it newsworthy. I also didn't take from the article that these conversations were stale; I take it that this was a relatively recent decision, or at least that the sources recently confirmed it. I don't necessarily agree with everything McGinn writes, but I've never gotten the sense that he has an agenda to either help or hurt the Packers.

kennypayne's picture

Finley's attitude has always been a negative. The key, i think, is that he has never been the same player since injuring his knee in 2010. He lost his burst and jumping ability and his confidence seemed to erode along with his physical skills. At this point, he is just an average player with a poor attitude.

That said, his departure leaves a void at TE. Quarless, who knows if he can play or will be physically sound after being out for 1+ seasons. Williams has not been able to stay healthy and has shown nothing to date. Crabtree is a nice role player with severe limitations as a featured TE and Taylor has done nothing but play STs to date.

Jennings, Finley, and Driver gone will make for an interesting 2013 offense.

BeddarCheddar's picture

I agree. It's a shame because Finley was such a talent. Man he was good! It's hard to remember, but the dude was such a force...fast, great hands. You've gotta wonder what it would have been like if he hadn't gotten injured.

I'd feel better about him leaving if Williams or Taylor had shown anything at all outside of training camp. Rodgers used to say he really liked Taylor, but I haven't heard that for over a year now. Hopefully Ted and his scouts can work their magic to replace Jennings and Finley...as this year has shown, we could use a guy over the middle.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Good.

GBP 4 LIFE

montanapackerfan's picture

let him go. and take crosby and driver with him.. i love driver but time has past him by. he has a ring..

Tundraboy's picture

Timing of article is about as bad as the timing of Finley's comments. Do not know what happened since 09, but it does not matter a tight end who avoids blocks is worthless. Miss Quarless a lot this year

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