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Jermichael Finley Receives $3M Bonus, Will Stay in Green Bay

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Jermichael Finley Receives $3M Bonus, Will Stay in Green Bay

The conclusion of months of back-and-forth speculation came Monday, as the Green Bay Packers officially paid Jermichael Finley's $3 million bonus, essentially guaranteeing the polarizing tight end will remain on the roster through 2013.

Shortly after the 3:00 p.m. deadline, Finley tweeted that he would be staying with the Packers.

Blake Baratz, Finley's agent, later confirmed his client would be receiving the $3 million bonus.

Finley, who turns 26 Tuesday, signed a two-year deal worth just over $14 million in March of 2011. The contract will now pay Finley $8.25 million in total salary next season, including the bonus. The two sides were reportedly discussing a restructure, but no such fix materialized before Monday's deadline.

Finley will now play out the 2013 season on the second-richest tight end salary in the NFL before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the spring of 2014.

In an offense featuring Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones last season, Finley caught 61 passes for 667 yards and two touchdowns.

With Jennings now in Minnesota, and no replacement currently on the roster, Finley's return was always the most likely scenario. In my opinion, it was the correct scenario, too.

Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (53) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mojo's picture

So today is a hard deadline for doing contract restructures even if the Pack extended Finley past this year? Just because they have to pay the $3m bonus, can't they redo the base? Just wondering.

Looks like a TE in the first round is even more unlikely, which IMO is a good thing. Rather go to d-line.

Evan's picture

That's what I'm wondering too. A restructure/extension isn't off the table now, is it?

Zach Kruse's picture

No, they can still restructure or extend. I'm sure Green Bay would have liked to get that done before today, however.

Chad Toporski's picture

I can't imagine the Packers extending him at any point before the start of the season. It would require some guaranteed money on their part or Finley would never accept the deal. Green Bay likes Finley, but not sure if they feel confident in handcuffing future money to him before seeing him play in 2013.

Derek in CO's picture

Damn, I was hoping of they kept 88 they could at least restructure the deal somewhat. He better live up to that contract, or he'll have even more haters. Packers must not be too high on Quarless or Williams for 2013....

Ma Linger's picture

I hope by keeping him and paying Jones a ton that, Teddy boy has to give up his one and two picks and go for late rounders because he has no moooney left.
These new rookies wont come cheap.

MarkinMadison's picture

Actually, the new rookies will come relatively cheap. But I wish they had extended Finley or cut him. Too much for one year.

Chad Toporski's picture

Estimated 2013 rookie pool costs by team:

mudduckcheesehead's picture


Who taught you about the rookie wage scale? Backlash LaRue?

Denver's picture

I wouldn't be surprised at all if Finley has a great year...
and then is playing for someone else the following season.

devil doc's picture

I'd have to agree with this idea as well. Jennings exit has opened up a spot for him to shine, show his true "potential", followed by a big pay day somewhere else.

cow42's picture

so if he plays like ass then it was $8 mil down the drain and if he plays great he'll price himself out of GB.


now that he's got this $3 mil bonus, what else would the Pack be on the hook for if they were to trade him?

see if you can get a 5th rd for him.

even if he plays great what's the point in having him next season?

Evan's picture

Helping the team win, no?

cow42's picture

win what? the division and 1 weak-ass playoff game.
this ain't no SB team.

drop this duche. he costs too much.

Evan's picture

Speaking of dropping douches...

Stroh's picture

No kidding... right on!

cow42's picture

can't win a SB without a LT, ILB, DE, RB, TE, & C.
oh - and with only 1 S.

draft's not gonna fix all that.

just sayin'.

MarkinMadison's picture

He's here for the season now. More interesting is that they did not try to work an extension while they still had a little leverage.

Chad Toporski's picture

Did the team really have a lot of leverage? Baratz simply needed to play the waiting game until this afternoon, when the roster bonus is guaranteed for tomorrow.

Evan's picture

The leverage would be, I imagine, threatening to cut him and letting him try to find another team who would pay him $8.5 million.

Stroh's picture

8M for one year. Or on the open market get a 5yr 30M+ w 12M guaranteed. Which do you think he would prefer?

The main reason his pay is so high is that it was so short. A long term extension would lower his per yr and cap hit. Both win on a long term deal.

Evan's picture

You think he'd get that much more that Martellus Bennett's 4 year, $20 mil ($9 mil guaranteed)?

Stroh's picture

Didn't know what Bennett got, but yeah Finley would get more. Would he get 5 yr 30M? Obviously its a guess, but the Packers pd a premium on a 2 yr deal, but I can't believe they pd nearly double of a premium. If Bennett is worth 5M per, I think Finley would get 6M per. Bennetts had one good year and been released by 2 teams now. Finley is more of a recieving threat and had 2 good years and much more potential. Teams don't have to account for Bennett, they do for Finley.

MarkinMadison's picture

I believe I said "a little" Chad. If the Packers had cut him Finley would be out there on a market where a lot of the easy money has already been spent. He'd be selling his services as a top-10 TE where the market value is likely less than the $8M+ he was set to earn this year. So yeah, I think the Packers had a "little" leverage to turn this into a long-term deal. The only reason I disagree with Stroh a little is right now, he'll bag his $8M+ this year, and then hit the open market next year and get the same deal Stroh is describing.

Stroh's picture

Why is it that everyone thinks Thompson will let Finley leave if he has a good year? WHen was the last time Thompson let a 26 yr old talented and productive player leave? He lets 30 yr olds leave not players that are in the prime of their careers. It contrary to Thompson entire philosophy to let young talented players leave. I think its far more likely Finley will get that long term contract from the Packers and he stays in GB till he's 30 or so and then is allowed to leave.

Jamie's picture

Let's not exclude the possibility that they did in fact try and could not come to an agreement on an extension.

Bearmeat's picture

Cow, I think you are completely right on here. Wow. I guess hell does freeze over once in awhile.

The only good thing that can come out of this deal is Finley being a major asset in a Superbowl winning year. Survey says: Not likely.

Either way he's gone next year.

MarkinMadison's picture

Let's see where they draft a TE this year. That may tell us a lot about whether they want to try to re-sign Finley, or IF they think they can afford to.

Stroh's picture

I dont think they draft one and if so, it would be late and a blocker type like Crabtree.

MarkinMadison's picture

You are probably right, but TT has a habit of drafting replacements for next year over needs this year (Neal, Sherrod). With the other major deals that TT has to get done, I really wonder if he thinks he can sign Finley next year too.

Stroh's picture

Why is TE a need next year? Finley is 26 yrs old. Thompson doesn't let young, talented players leave GB he resigns them to long term contracts. My guess is Thompson signs him to a long term contract for 4 or 5 yrs that lowers his per yr pay and gives Finley the security he wants. It totally contrary to Thompsons philosophy to let good players in the prime of their careers leave!

cow42's picture

but he doesn't actually want finley... he just doesn't have any one else to play TE.... and finley wouldn't take a pay cut.

that's why he'll pick one this year....
so he can let finley go.

mark's picture

One element of this equation that isn't getting much discussion is team chemistry.

Will Finley's desire for a big season equal more chirping to the media about wanting the ball, not being used right, etc.? If he drops balls will he blame his QB? Will he say the coaches don't get him into the flow of the offense? They don't let him freestyle, etc.

And what if the Packers draft a potential replacement for Finley? Could anyone blame them? But if Finley loses snaps to an Eifert, Escobar or Reed, what then? Does anyone think he'll be content losing snaps to a rookie when he's in a contract year?

I want to believe that Jermichael will be all about winning in 2013, that he'll do what's best for the team. But fool me once...

Stroh's picture

Just cuz you misunderstand Finley doesn't mean he's bad for team chemistry. Apparently the coaches dont think he's bad for chemistry either. MM puts a large emphasis on it, If he was a lockerroom problem he wouldn't be getting his bonus today.

cow42's picture

he's getting his bonus because he and his agent wouldn't take anything less.

and because the Packers have no one else capable of playing the position.

you can not possibly believe that there is a single person in the entire Packer organization (other than 88, himself) that believes he's worth 8 mil.

the guy is a waste.

if he was average and quiet it wouldn't be problem.
if he was good and loud it wouldn't be problem.

but he's average and loud.

that's a problem.

Stroh's picture

Go away or stfu!

cow42's picture

stfu because i disagree with you?

um... no.

it's not all sunshine, dude.

this team is flawed.

in a big way.

there are more positions that are in doubt than there are that are set.

you're right - there can't be all-pros at every position. but you do need a solid lineup of average to above average players that are elevated by a couple of game changers.

the Packers have too many BELOW average starters and too few (really only 2) game changers.

Rodgers can't do it on his own. this team is way too dependent on him. they need him to be perfect.

put it this way - if Rodgers would have played for the ravens last year - they still win the SB... if Flacco played for the Packers they'd be under 500.

the entire roster needs tons of work.
anyone on it who makes more than what they're worth should be dumped... regardless of cap hit. rebuild quickly before Rodgers' time is up.


should all be gone.

and when Raji's contract is up... let him walk.

Stroh's picture

No becuz you hate the Packers so it seems and have nothing be negativity about them. And CLEARLY you didnt read my comment! Everyone here thinks your nothing but a troll who contributes Nothing.

Did I say Finley wasn't overpaid? No.
Apparently the Packers think alot more of Finley than you do! But then you think the entire roster is crap even tho GB is a SB contender. Why is it a big deal that Finley answers questions honestly? Thats about all he does.

Go cheer for your beloved 9ers cuz you talk about them like they already won consecutive SB's!

Rocky70's picture

@ Cow42
You haven't a chance against "Stroh" and all his numerous IDs. In his world, TT & the Pack can do no wrong. He is the worst of all 'homers' to ever grace this blog with his fictional BS.

Examine the record & roster of the 2006 Packers. The 2013 version of the Pack isn't close to the established talent level of 2006.

BTW --- The 2006 team had to win their last 4 regular season games just to finish 8-8. --- Season 2013 is going to be a rough one.

Stroh's picture

Rocky and Cow, by their real name Crowky! one and the same!

Rocky70's picture

@ Stroh

Cow & I actually agree on some things but we are hardly the same person. --- We're both very capable of expressing ourselves using only one ID.

--- Why can't you ???

Stroh's picture

Oh really you both spout the same moronic crap out of the same pie hole. One pie hole = one person. I have one name and I use it on all the sites I visit.

GreenBaySavant's picture

@Cow Without saying it, the Packers ARE rebuilding. They have many glaring holes that need to be filled, but one could argue that they were 2 big name FA on defense away from seriously competing for the "dance". Instead, we let a few guys out the door. Not that these guys were game changers, but they were familiar with the system. Now we are going to draft for more needs than we knew we had in December. Some of these picks could be an upgrade talent-wise. But they are still not going to know what they are doing for a time.

I have come to terms with the fact that this is NOT a SB team as you have. It would be a prudent idea if some other people realize this. They will still be competitive and likely win the division.

cow42's picture

"I have come to terms with the fact that this is NOT a SB team "


don't tell stroh.

you'll get yelled at.

trvs's picture


I had to....but I hope Quarless comes back stronger.

mark's picture

That video was awful.

Point Packer turned Jeff Query's picture

God awful.

trvs's picture

Are you kidding me...thats my best work.( I did not make the video) But it clearly shows how ridiculous the yotto mentality is/was.

I know he is making too much money, but I really do hope he plays incredible this year. Maybe Lambeu just has to put some Rick Ross on the loudspeakers?? (joke)

cow42's picture

i would rather have had a RB/TE duo of steven jackson/tyler eifert than dujuan harris/jermichael finley.

just sayin'

WisconsInExile's picture

I thought the hater persona was just a "it's not weird if it works" deal? I'm not sure I can survive another season of your Debbie Downer vibe. Seriously, we all watched the games. There is hardly any homerism on this site, yet too much trolling. Please dude, if you feel this down on the team, go vent over at, or scream into the twitterverse. Just stop damaging our calm.

cow42's picture


which would you chose...




hump's picture

stroh and cow 42, were all in this together, i 100% agree that arod has maybe 5 yrs left of being the best qb maybe,and i agree also that we are probably 3 solid players (not expensive)away from being the best friggn team in the nfl. So WHY TED, cant we sign a solid safety for 3mil yr,(michael huff) a solid back 3mil yr (ahmad bradshaw)and a solid d lineman 3mil yr ( richard seymour) and just win a couple more world championships before we choke this thing like we did with favre! 20 years and running with two of the greatest qb's ever and we only got two!!! ted, you are great,but check your ego at the door and get us the finishing pieces!!! and P.S. ted, we will let you use the other 10 mil in cap room to sign all the inside lb's you want!! give urlacher a call. HA

PackerPete's picture

It's hard to disagree with Ted on most moves he has made so far, but he has handcuffed himself and the team.
Hawk - it would've cost a lot to release him outright, and he got him to significantly reduce the salary. Well, he is still way overpaid, but a solid ILB. Nothing flashy, and certainly not worth the 5th overall pick, but ok he can be a stopgap for another year.
Jones - People forget that last year he was the best starter at ILB. there was significant interest. I think they could've found or drafted a better player for that money, but I also think other positions are in more need of upgrades.
Woodson - dude is done, and for that money it was good to let him go.
Jennings - way overpriced, I am actually glad he left
Finley - I don't like the guy or his play. He is the poster boy for "average loudmouth who talks way more than he produces". His agent chimed in last season in a negative way, and I think Finley is a head case. But there is nobody else on the roster who can play TE, let's face it. The Packers would've had to draft one in the 1st round. And that's not going to happen. That money is steep. 2nd highest paid TE in the league? Wow, certainly not 2nd best TE in the league. but the Packers had no other choice.
Not signing a big name FA. Canty? Bradshaw? Huff? All are major question marks. Signing one would've meant there is no money for extending key players.

But ok, Ted is betting on the fact he can find players in the draft who help immediately, he seriously needs to upgrade OL and DL, needs to find a RB, needs to find a S, and needs to find another OLB (Moses is a spot player, and Perry is not an OLB). Complement this with the need for additions to depth at TE, WR, and QB, and it is clear that an injury to just 2 or 3 good players means that team has no shot at the SB. So if he drafts well and finds 3 players who can start immediately (S, DE, and RB), and gets injured players back who come back strong at OL (Bulaga and Sherrod), TE (Quarless), LB (Bishop), and can sign just one FA at OLB who provides a bit of a pass rush, then this team will be alright. If from above list just 2 or 3 things don't work out, then I think it is best to let Raji and Matthews walk and think about investing that money in upgrades which will pay off 2 years down the road, while #12 can still play.

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