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Packers Should Give Jermichael Finley Another Year

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Packers Should Give Jermichael Finley Another Year

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers should turn a "50/50" proposition on the future of tight end Jermichael Finley into a 100 percent certainty for the 2013 season.

Instead of enduring a significant dropoff at the position, or recycling Finley for a high draft pick in April, the Packers ought to give the enigmatic tight end one more season in Green Bay. If for no other reason, such a decision would ensure Green Bay doesn't miss out on Finley putting it all together before he re-enters unrestricted free agency in the spring of 2014.

Uncertainty has continued to cloud the future of the fifth-year tight end.

On Thursday, Finley told Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it was just "50/50" he would be back with the Packers next season. A league source also told Dunne that it was a "coin flip" on whether or not he'd be in Green Bay in 2013.

Earlier this month, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote that league sources "expect Finley to be elsewhere." He predicts Finley will be a cap casualty.

Money is certainly an issue in this case. Finley, who turns 26 in March, is scheduled to earn a whopping $8.75 million in 2013—the final season of his two-year deal he signed last February. In March of this year, a $3.5 million roster bonus becomes guaranteed. Overall, Finley's total cap hit will rank as the team's third highest in 2013, behind only quarterback Aaron Rodgers and defensive back Charles Woodson.

The Packers' five biggest cap hits of 2013, via Spotrac.

In no way is Finley the Packers' third best player. He's probably not even the offense's third-best pass catcher.

That said, his relatively large cap hit is palatable for one season.

While Finley has struggled to match promise and potential with statistical measures on the field, the drop off in both talent and impact from Finley to the next Green Bay tight end is substantial.

Former fifth-round pick D.J. Williams has been a helmet-and-shorts All-Pro in back-to-back training camps, but he has just nine catches for 70 yards in two full seasons. In 2012, Williams dropped three of his 14 total targets and was used more as a run-blocker than pass-catcher. Expecting him to replace Finley's production in his third year is certainly viewing the scenario in a very optimistic light.

Fan-favorite Tom Crabtree is a serviceable player, but that's because the Packers use him correctly. He's a tough-as-nails, win-at-the-point tight end, while Finley is a player who demands respect in the passing game every time he's on the field. Crabtree made some big plays in 2012, but he simply took advantage of matchups that Finley could have only dreamt of seeing. In no scenario should Crabtree be considered a candidate to play 800 or more snaps (Finley played 797 in 2012) in the Packers' current offense.

Others will point to Andrew Quarless as a potential replacement next season, especially after he filled in capably for Finley during the Packers' Super Bowl run in 2010-11. But Quarless is still on the mend from reconstructive knee surgery, and he has to be considered on the bubble to even make the roster in 2013.  He was never an explosive athlete or matchup-busting tight end when completely healthy; after nearly two years being on the shelf and a reconstruction of his knee, it's worth pondering what kind of starter Quarless would be now.

Finally, 2011 seventh-rounder Ryan Taylor played just 144 offensive snaps in 2012. While a player on the rise, Taylor's skill set might be limited to a ceiling of special teams and spot duty on offense. He's done well in both roles. But without much doubt, Taylor's chances of emerging as a starting-caliber tight end next season are unlikely at best.

Career totals for current tight ends.

Losing Finley at tight end, combined with the looming departure of veteran receiver Greg Jennings, would put a serious and note-worthy dent in the Packers well-stocked passing game.

These realties leave the Packers in a difficult position. If the decision is made to move on from Finley to save money, a draft pick in April would almost certainly have to be used on a tight end.

Stanford's Zach Ertz and Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert are both nice players, but recycling Finley for either tight end at No. 26 overall doesn't fix what ailed the Packers in 2012. In fact, having to fill a hole at tight end would likely limit what problems general manager Ted Thompson could solve this offseason.

If that's the route the Packers did go—dumping Finley and drafting a tight end in the 2013 class—it's very difficult to see how such a swap would make Green Bay better next season.

The risk of cutting Finley now and watching him finally put everything together elsewhere should be another deterrent.

While Finley is not the same other-worldly athlete he was before his 2010 knee injury, he's still a rare player at a position that continues to grow in importance in the NFL. As a big-bodied, vertical pass-catcher, Finley's mere presence in the offense has opened up opportunities for others. Little things that go unnoticed in the boxscore are certainly a part of Finley's overall appeal.

There were even signs last season that the proverbial lightbulb might be close to flicking on.

Late in 2012, the focus that was sometimes lacking from Finley appeared to lock in. After dropping seven passes over the first eight games, Finley dropped just two over the final 10. From Week 11 on, Finley caught 37 passes for 441 yards and one touchdown—numbers which equate to 66 catches and 784 yards over a 16-game season. According to Pro Football Focus, Finley caught 77 percent of his targeted passes and forced five missed tackles during the inspired stretch late last season.

Finley's 2012 season, via Pro Football Focus

Finley was a noticeably different player, one closer to the tight end who dominated the 2009 NFC Wild Card than the always-frustrating fan punching bag he eventually became.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy agreed.

"I feel very good about the way he finished the year," McCarthy said in his final press conference in January. "There was a change in the young man."

Now, general manager Ted Thompson and the rest of the Packers front office must decide if that change in focus and production was enough to give Finley one more season to prove he belongs in Green Bay.

Thompson would be unlikely to argue that Finley's cap hit in 2013 is where the Packers want it to be. If he stays, Finley will probably make $3-4 million more next season than he actually should. The two-year deal he negotiated with Finley last February made a lot of sense length-wise, but the backloading of the deal hurts now.

Still, the implications of dumping Finley now—including a severe drop off in talent and impact at tight end, the creation of another roster hole that would need fixing this April and the risk of watching him blossom in another NFL city— should mean he's worth one final expensive season.

According to Dunne, the Packers haven't communicated any plans to Finley about his future with the club. Thompson and the front office should facilitate that discussion, while ensuring the much-maligned tight end that his future in Green Bay is safe for one more season.

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 (65) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackerPete's picture

I'm not necessarily in favor of getting rid of Finley, but I fear he is the player who will constantly tease coaches and fans with his potential and not really produce. Off the top of my head I can name 10 TEs that I'd rather have playing for the Packers instead of Finley, but I have seen him making plays none of those 10 could make. Physically he is a top 3 player at his position in the NFL, but I don't think he is mentally. So if I had to take a guess, I'd say Ted will draft a TE as he always does, maybe 3rd or 4th round, and if he gets a good one, and Quarless also comes back in decent shape and form, then Finley will be gone come September. If Ted doesn't find a worthy one or Quarless doesn't come back the way the Packers hope, then they'll keep Finley for one more season. I think they will draft a safety in the 1st round, and if so, then Woodson will be gone, as well as Hawk, which will wipe out a considerable amount of cap money, so they have enough to keep Finley and extend the contracts of Rodgers, Clay, and Raji.

Zach Kruse's picture

You think they'd pay him a $3.5 million bonus in March and then cut him in September? I'd say that's very unlikely. Clock is ticking to make a decision.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Plus, no one will know about Quarless until well into next season.

PackerPete's picture

Zach: Yes, because right now they have uncertainty at that position. It's much easier to let Woodson and Hawk go now than it is Finley. And who knows, if they pay him the bonus in March, they keep their options open for trading him. Nobody will give up a draft pick for Woodson or Hawk, but there are enough teams who will for Finley. So it's not "wasted money". Giving Woodson the bonus in March is wasted money IMHO. Without knowing whether Quarless comes back somewhere close to normal and the draft is always somewhat unpredictable, it would be foolish to let Finley go now. But in June, July, or August, it may be a different story.

PackerPete's picture

I realize I should have given my definition as to why Finley is not mentally in the top tier of TEs in the NFL. I have seen too often the last few years that he didn't line up correctly, and then either #12 had to take a TO or Finley had to be told where to shift too. This is purely subjective, but I don't think I have seen any other offensive starter having to do that as often. I can excuse that for a rookie, but Finley has been in the league for years now. I don't think he is too stupid, I just don't think he prepares himself properly. I think if he took his job seriously, then he'd be a top 3 TE in the NFL. But he doesn't, as so far he got by with his athletic ability. Without knowing him personally, that's what the problem seems to be, looking in from the outside. All commentators I've heard or spoken to in the past say that they had to think hard about finding someone with Finley's physical abilities in the HFL, and theat he could be the biggest matchup problem for any defense, but I heard quite as often "his head is not in the game".

Franklin Hillside's picture

Once he started having the pregame meetings with Rodgers, his production increased significantly. He acknowledges it, Rodgers acknowledges it, and McCarthy acknowledges it. Got his head in the game.

Keep. Him.

Evan's picture

He also recently acknowledged that the early season criticism really got to him. Obviously he needs to learn to ignore that stuff, but at least he's aware of that now.

Evan's picture

Couldn't agree more, Zach. It makes no sense to cut him loose now.

Idiot Fan's picture

Agreed. Keep him, and draft Ertz while we're at it.

Evan's picture

No way!

They have far more pressing needs to use their 1st round pick on.

Let Finley play out the year, see how Quarless heals up and draft a TE next year if necessary.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Absolutely not! I will destroy my TV if we go TE in the first!

Idiot Fan's picture

I know, I know....but if this offense could develop a strong presence in the middle and down the seam, it could be scary good. I wouldn't trade our team for any other team in the league, but I have to admit, watching the Patriots gives me TE envy.

cow42's picture

Rodgers has to throw it there.
Why he refuses to throw to check downs and underneath receivers is beyond me.

Evan's picture

He did seem to start doing it a bit more in the last few games. Hopefully he continues to do so.

jeremy's picture

Yes, seeing the Offense ignore the huge holes in the middle of the field on first and second down to throw it deep on the sidelines gave me fits all season. There are huge opportunities there, if Rodgers and McCarthy will take them it will only open up the deep stuff for later.

ArodMoney's picture

As an organization, you can't justify vastly overpaying a position just because it is a 'need' this season.

Is trading JMike for Williams/Quarless worth the $8 million in cap space that can be used at more impactful positions(Dline and OLB come to mind)? I say yes

Ebongreen's picture

I see your case, but don't agree.

Finley remains immature both on the field and off. He's 26, and hasn't demonstrated the excellence in attitude or play to deserve the money he's making now or wants to make. Last year's two-year deal was essentially a "show me" deal. IMO he didn't and will probably be traded for a pick. Finley has been a tease and flashy, and has had too many injuries and inconsistencies to keep. He's bucking for the label of "coach-killer", which he might deserve if Rodgers McCarthy and Thompson hadn't already won a Super Bowl title.

I think Ted has had enough and wants to trade him, and will do so for the right price. If the price isn't right, he'll keep him for another year while drafting a developmental candidate. He'll probably draft another tight end anyway - getting a good pick for Finley will just make it easier and more likely to be in the early rounds.

Evan's picture

If everything you said about Finley is true (and I don't agree that it is), but IF it is, why would anyone trade a draft pick for him?

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Because teams like the Raiders and Bungles exist. "If" Ted chose to go that route, I'd be willing to bet he'd have no problem finding a trade partner. People like size and athleticism,and they always think "we can fix him". Sometimes it works, sometimes, not so much.

Evan's picture

Bengals...sure. But not Reggie's Raiders.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I hope Reggie gets them away from that stigma. Probably will, smart man.

Ebongreen's picture

Four words:

Someone wanted Tim Tebow.

Evan's picture

haha. Okay, point taken.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Geeze. So sad. So true.

Chad Lundberg's picture

Finley says it's 50/50, but he's not an idiot, he knows he could stay if he just cut his salary. I think it's obvious that the real reason he may not come back is simply because he could be refusing to take a pay cut.

packcruiser's picture

I think Finley stays, don't know why, just one of those intuition/gut things. I'm not saying I'm crazy about the guy but do we want to start over with a guy like him? I'd rather have Nelson, Cobb, Jones and Finley set, work on more pressing needs. O and D-line players definitely need to be deep at those positions. When injuries happen and a coach struggles to find 46 healthy for game day, not good. When those positions are key players, really not good.

Chad Toporski's picture

Unless the offensive line improves its pass blocking significantly, Rodgers is going to need playmakers in the "skill positions" to offset that weakness. As noted, Finley is still better than the other TE options right now. It's a tough call to make, but keeping him seems like the best route.

bomdad's picture

$8 mil, 3.5 guaranteed, for a "freestyle" loudmouth who throws the reigning MVP under the bus. Any fans who clamor for the Packers to "get more physical" need to take another look on this one, he's an average blocker at best. Sometimes he struggles to get a free release. You know what, Dennis Pitta is better, he shows up in EVERY playoff game not just the ones long long ago, far far away. How many 16 game seasons does JMike have in his career? I'd rather see the Packers Put the money towards franchising Greg Jennings, because if he is healthy, he makes the big catches. If they can trade him, that would be an awesome move. But there's not many GMs who don't realize that Ted knows what he is doing.

Lou's picture

I go back and forth like I am sure the organization does on whether to keep him or not ? You can line up the plus and minus sides of the page and they are about even. Based on his production the team obviously cannot pay him what Gronk and Hernandez make. He seems to have lost a step since the surgery 2 years ago, he just does not seperate like he used to, even slower tight ends (Whitten - Danials) get more seperation. Add to that the drops and marginal blocking ability and you have to cut his pay even if he stays one more year. Best Packer joke of 2012, with all the cold/flu bugs in WI doctors response to patients asking "how can I avoid catching anything" and the doctor answering "buy and wear a Finley jersey", it has been that kind of year for him.

CSS's picture

"...he just does not separate like he used to, even slower tight ends (Whitten – Danials) get more separation."

I don't know how you can make that statement, especially over the last 7 games. Finley was on the verge of being dominant and teams, including San Francisco, have openly discussed their defensive game plans often had stopping Finley as one of their top priorities. Also, Finley can't control the frequency that Rodgers targets him. Greg Cosell even commented how often he would see guys running free over the middle, especially Finley, where Rodgers either didn't see them or opted to look elsewhere. I think his separation was great the latter half of the year when he was fully recovered from his shoulder injury.

Lou's picture

He played better in the 2nd half, one of the keys was his ability to break tackles (some times miltiple tackles) after catching the ball. However, in most cases when he caught the ball the defenders were right on him (he cannot seperate like before). If he could seperate he would be running fades in the red zone like he did when he could seperate. Check out the film.

CSS's picture

The only legitimate 'film' is the all-22, and I don't have an account through game rewind. What I have seen from publicly available breakdowns from analysts like Matt Bowen shows Finley consistently bracketed in coverage by a CB and a safety while Jones or Nelson draw only single coverage. Teams consistently bracketed Finley with variations of LB/S or DB/S almost every game, and he still set a Packer franchise record for TE receptions. I don't know the answer, but it sure seems as though Finley is drawing far more attention in coverage now than in 09' and 10'.

Lou's picture

Drawing more coverage is an accurate statement, even if that is the case I can't believe McCarthy doesn't run fades with him in the red zone, based on his body type they have to interfere with him. In addition compared to the Pats TE's Finley's routes could be described as "short passing 101". If McCarthy and Clements don't solve Cover 2 better next year they will be answering to Thompson (what is their plan to do it in 2014 - and I expect you do to it). Too bad they passed on Vernon Davis and picked "safely" with A.J. Hawk. You add Davis to the mix and a solid RB and the scoreboard lights up.

Lou's picture

You obviously cover Finley close, Paul Imig today of Fox Sports Wisconsin reviewed his performance and published PFF's rating; season rating: minus-1.5 (No. 15 out of 24 on Packers offense; No. 42 out of 62 among NFL tight ends)

I would like to see him succeed in Green Bay but based on that and his salary level Ted Thompson has a huge decision to make.

will's picture

I'd trade or cut him. Remember they won a superbowl without him. I would put him in the bottom 3rd of NFL tight ends. Think back and try and remember a game he "took over" or the other Team simply couldn't stop him. Measurables are one thing, performance is another...I know which one I prefer. They'd be better off paying Reggie Bush 4-5 million and using him in the passing game to make up for Finley's departure. He's not worth it, and they've already proved they can win without a top notch tight end (they've been doing it while Finley played)

Stroh's picture

Will... There was this one playoff game in AZ where Finley was completely unstoppable. Something like 8 rec 160 yds. AZ defenders had no answer for Finley in that playoff, let me repeat that again, PLAYOFF game! If a guy can take over a playoff game like that, I'm inclined to give him every chance to do so in GB before he is pushed out the door!

Question answered!

cow42's picture


cow42's picture

that's one game of awesome vs 3+ seasons below average.

Stroh's picture

You asked for one game... Question answered. You didn't say anything about pre-knee or post. Either way it speaks to his ability. Seems to me he is over the knee now. Especially end of the year.

kennypayne's picture

I am on the fence with Finley. Zach is 100% correct there is no one on the roster to replace him. And there are enough other holes on the team that I'd hate to use a high draft pick on a TE.

That said, I see Finley, along with Tramon and especially Woodson and Hawk as being paid way too much for their level of production. We need to stop overpaying "our" players and if Finley is let go because of his big salary I would be OK with it.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

"That said, I see Finley, along with Tramon and especially Woodson and Hawk as being paid way too much for their level of production. We need to stop overpaying “our” players and if Finley is let go because of his big salary I would be OK with it."

I can dig it.

cow42's picture

they gave him the 2 year deal to see if he could answer the question... "Can Finley be our TE of the future?"

in my opinion - he did not answer that question.

so - get rid of him.

the team needs to get more physical.
he is not a physical player.

how many years does it take to finally decide that a player is not going to take "the next step".

he is what he is. he is what he will be. he is not worth $8 mil.

by the way, the fact that Finley, Woodson, Williams, and Hawk are all in the top five in terms of pay for next season is disheartening.

dump them all (maybe not williams).

Tarynfor12's picture

Finley is piece of Kobe beef at an expensive restaurant that is now lodged in the throat.Do you get a Hymlic or another glass of wine to wash it down.

You paid a lot of money for it and to regurgitate it out without having the expected enjoyment of it's taste fulfilled is hard to accept as would be convincing oneself that the taste was still fulfilling though while taste is non-existenet while choking it down.

I would think most would dislodge it as the damage has been done and allowing it to become nestled in the gut will only ensure more inconvenience at some point not far off.

However,since I have been a strong proponent for dislodging him before last season,I find it hard to return to the place that almost done me in by allowing a dessert sampling to sway me to overpaying for another meal or a player who doesn't come close to his menu offerings.

IMO,TT has ridden out the worst and can only end up in a win-win situation with Finley after this next season.Finley will either pay off with a much larger return and than be let go or we get no less than the previous which for some would seem satisfactory and is let go.But in no manner or due to any new looks via Finleys' performance can this team afford another contract for one who is and will be an enigma to what will be presented on the field week to week.

Finley will likely remain and I hope for the team and fans,he exploits his talents with boundless ability for what may be the showcase of next seasons off season which the Packers will not be a part of period.For the more he does,the easier it will be to let him go (contract demand ala Jennings) and prevent us from giving him money needed for others..and there will be others.

cheesy4's picture

If we really want to save cap money to sign players in positions we really need then we should take a look at 3 of the other players in the top five.
Charles Woodson - 9.4 mill
Tramon Williams - 8.5 mill
A.J. Hawk - 7.0 mill

I would say keep Finley cut or trade Woodson Williams and Hawk (25 mill savings)since we probably have adequate replacements in those positions and look for a few OL and DL which we really need.

MarkinMadison's picture

So to sum up, (almost) nobody loves the guy, and we (mostly) all agree that $8M is too much, but we are all over the board about whether to keep him or dump him. Let me throw out a third way - extend him. Crazy, I know. Extending him allows you some opportunities. 1) You don't take an $8M cap hit next year - you spread it out. 2) You can put an incentive-laden cap in place. In this case, the incentive should be based upon things he can control - drops %, blocking assignments, etc. If you cannot get an agreeable long-term deal done then I say you still have no answer at this position, and you might as well try to trade him for a pick. However, I would go with the guys we got. I know that also sounds crazy, but there was this Pro Bowler named Mark Chumura that was drafted in the late rounds and nobody thought much of him at all (I don't think much of him OFF the field, but that's a different issue). If in TT you trust then trust the depth and mind the cap. It has paid off for the Packers in the past.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I like the cut of your Jib.

Walty's picture

Given the departures of DD and GJ it'd be nice to keep him around but I just don't know if we can overpay him to that extent.

mark's picture

I agree--keep him.

For two reasons.

1) it buys the organization a year with quarless, see how he recovered, see if he's the answer in 2014.

2) try to win the Super Bowl. Packers have to be among the favorites next season. give #12 another weapon, another big target, and let's make another run.

cow42's picture

#2 could get you in trouble.

i think they're a good 2+ years away from making another serious SB run. don't start making decisions based on "gotta do it THIS year".

they need a lot of guys to mature into legit players.

This year's draft picks...

a large percentage of these dudes have to mature as players (and sustain that development) in order for this team to take another shot at a ring.

cow42's picture

add moses and shields to that list.

Stroh's picture

Its hardly out of the question the Packers make a SB run next year. First off, as long as Rodgers is at QB the Packers are a playoff team. Secondly its been shown repeatedly the past 5+ years that you just need to get hot entering the playoffs to win it. Third, the biggest jump in performance usually occurs between year 1 and year 2. That being the case quite a few of the players noted could easily be making a big jump in performance. Leave Worthy out due to his injury this year, he'll contribute late in the year. But Perry, Neal, House, Manning, Hayward, McMillan, Sheilds, Moses, Cobb, Green, Harris, Sherrod, Bulaga, EDS all fit that scenario as players that could easily make significant progress. Find a run stuffing 34 DE, a physical safety and the D could become as good as '10 when we won the SB. Even if 1/2 of those players make a big jump this team is a SB contender.

cow42's picture

QB - elite
RB's - below league average
WR's - (wo/Jennings) slightly above league average
TE's - below league average
OL - below league average
DL - average (probably closer to below average)
ILB's - below league average
OLB's - (because there's a void opposite CMIII) average
CB's - above league average
S's - average

HC - above league average
DC - average (probably closer to below average)
OC - ???????? (what the hell does this guy do?)

as much as i want it to... it just doesn't look like a SB team to me.

you need difference makers.


Perry, Neal, House, Manning, Hayward, McMillan, Sheilds, Moses, Cobb, Green, Harris, Sherrod, Bulaga, EDS


Cobb, Hayward even have the potential to become difference makers.

the rest are all just "guys".

Stroh's picture

So after one injury shortened year Perry is "just" a guy? Neal was making an impact once he got playing time as a pass rusher. I would say most of the players mentioned have the ability to step up big time. That doesn't mean they will, but certainly the ability is there. I think your being incredibly harsh to the talent level! Bulaga could easily recapture what was looking like Pro Bowl form. Manning is a better athlete than Bishop and has the same physical style of play. McMillan is particularly physical as a safety and I'm not even a big fan of his, but theres talent for sure. Lets see how McCarthy and staff develop them before calling them all "just" guys!

Stroh's picture

So I guess the packers are a SB contender w/ a bunch of stiffs out there according to you! Glad your not GM.

cow42's picture

So your gonna count on a defensive end who's being forced (against his will) to play OLB and a 300 lb. China doll who will never play more than 10 games in a season.

You're going on what you WANT to happen - not what's most LIKLEY.


Those are the definition of "just guys".
There are a billion of those guys in the league.
There's a chance they may become competent but there is zero chance of either of them ending up being special.

Oh - and I think you have more faith in the coaching staff than I do.

With how often I see the offense get one dimensional and the number of times I see defensive players pointing at each other shaking their heads after giving up a big play... i'm questioning the staff's ability to get guys ready to.

this team is competitive because of one player.
You put any other QB in the league on that team other than Brady, Brees, Manning(P) and this is a 7-9 team at best.

their list of playmakers...

1. Rodgers
2. Matthews

... end of list.

cow42's picture


TXCHEESE's picture

I say keep him another year. Look how JJ rewarded up this year. Some times it takes guys longer than we want to "get it", but there's not one Packer Fan that isn't delighted we kept Jones.

TedTheSledge's picture

I would investigate a trade for Finley before the draft and if I couldn't get a good deal, keep him. Outright cutting him would leave some pro-rated signing money on the books and you will get nothing for him. Let him enter his last season at age 26 and playing for the free agent deal he will sign elsewhere in 2014. If he plays decent to well he will get attention on the open market and the Pack will get a compensatory pick in return. Someone will sign him, his measurables are just too good.

madmanJack's picture

i don't know if anyone has touched on this but i would keep him on the condition that a new deal can be reached that reduces his salary considerably this year and is more favorable to the Packers going forward. maybe like a 3 year deal for not elite TE money.
i think the reward would outweigh the risk in this scenario based on how he finished the season. if it doesn't work out, you have the option of maybe getting a draft pick in return. and if Quarless can come back to where he left off, the 2 tight end formation is something that could be very favorable. at least we wouldn't be worrying about having to draft a TE this year, knowing we have big needs elsewhere.

packeraaron's picture

If I see one more citing of PFF's grades as though they are gospel, I am going to cry.

cow42's picture

The more I think about this "should he stay or should he go" question - the easier it becomes for me to answer.

Here's a scenario for you...

Let's say that Finley had been playing on another team for the past 4 seasons - putting up the same #'s - and had just played out the final year of his contract (making him a free agent).


The Packers were heading into the 2013 season with a TE group of Quarless (coming off injury), Crabtree, Taylor, Bostick, and Williams.

Would you want the Packers to...

a) stand pat with what they have?
b) try and find an upgrade in the draft?
b) give Finley a 1 year, $8.75 million dollar contract?

No way in hell would I be pulling for option "c".

cow42's picture

Use the same scenario for Hawk.

cow42's picture

And for Kuhn.

cow42's picture

And for Woodson.

packeraaron's picture

Cow's List of playmakers…

1. Rodgers
2. Matthews

… end of list.

Yep. Randall Cobb is a bum.

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"The Bears still suck!"
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "