Packers XLV

Keeping Finley Was Pack's Only Option

Posted March 26th, 2013 @ 06:03pm

My idea of a great birthday present is a round of golf. For Jermichael Finley, it's a cool three million. That's what the Pack paid him on Tuesday, his 26th birthday, ensuring he would be back in Green Bay, as one of the league's highest paid tight ends.

You can simply connect the dots and figure that since Greg Jennings left for the millions the Vikings offered him, that the Packers had to keep Finley to ensure that Aaron Rodgers still had a full complement of weapons.

But the decision goes deeper. Four months ago I was sure they would cut ties with Finley.  He was maddeningly inconsistent on the field. He talked too much to the media. In fact, his agent talked too much to the media.

But then he came on at the end of the season. He showed what a matchup nightmare he could be for defenses, which had to account for him with a corner or a really talented safety. Then you start to think that maybe he'll start to get it. As a father of six (fixed, thanks Christina) and a guy in the back half of his 20s, maybe he'd put it all together and be a top five tight end. We'd hate to see that happen with another team.

The Packers are only committed to Finley for 2013. He's in a contract year now and despite making north of eight million this season, he can be set for life if he plays hard, plays up to his ability and stays injury-free this season.

For all of these reasons, it made sense for the team to keep him around. Now let's hope he plays well enough to make Ted Thompson's decision next year a whole lot tougher.

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Comments (13):

The most active and desperate free agency active teams tend also to be those who are the perenniel losers, as well. There's no need to panic about the Packers. Mostly what the Pack needs is rehabbed, healthy players and to continue to develop their already present young prospects. Even if the season started today the Pack would field a line-up looking like this: QB-Aaron Rodgers, RB James Starks/DuJuan Harris, WR Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, TE Jermichael Finley, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, G Josh Sitton & T.J. Lang, T Brian Bulaga& Marshall Newhouse/Derek Sherrod. DE Ryan Pickett/Mike Neal/CJWilson/MikeDaniels/JerelWorthy, NT BJ Raji, OLB Clay Matthews & Nick Perry, ILB Desmond Bishop & AJ Hawk/DJSmith, CB Tramon Williams &Sam Shield/Casey Hayward/Davon House, S Morgan Burnett & MD Jennings/Jerrion McMillian. Just how many more free agents do you need to add to a line up like that? Build thru the draft, baby.

on April 6th, 2013 at 08:55am

*correction* He's a father if six. Regardless, I'm happy he's back. Time for a real break out season for him. The talent is there. Just needs to get his mind right.

on March 26th, 2013 at 01:18pm

I agree that once Greg signed elsewhere, the Pack pretty much had to keep Finley. I keep reading that this is supposed to be a good draft for TE's so don't be suprised if Teddy takes one this year. If Finley has a great year, we try to keep him and run a 2 TE offense. If Finley is mediocre (or wants to get overpaid, which is very likely in my opinion), we have an out in 2014. Best case secenario is that Jermichael has the blowup season we have all been hoping he would have. I for one will be cheering for him to succeed (but won't keep drafting him high in my fantasy league!) Speaking of draft, I am having hard time deciding what I want the pack to take high this year (assuming no free agency moves out of Ted). TE? WR? O-Line (again??)? Or load up on Defense since that is still the weaker side of the ball for us.

on March 26th, 2013 at 02:07pm

To paraphrase a well known saying..."a tight end already on the roster is worth two on the free agency market...", or something like that. It's good that it's a one year deal and no more than that. And as far as what to pick in the first round, I don't think there's any WR or TE worthy of a first round pick this year, not to mention neither of these positions are a "need" for the Pack, so load up on the line - either side. At this point, they could use the help on both sides. Just sayin'...

on March 26th, 2013 at 04:12pm

I hope your right voice, but i still think Eickert from ND is going to be better then 88, and it sure wouldn't cost 8.5 ml either and his headaches. and we should have kept 85 and if possible. I still think he wanted to be the man and not share the ball anymore, he has his ring and wanted the money and something different, he heard to much about cobb and jordy being the man now. TT please take him or ogeltree at the very least take a safety, Reid, go packers

on March 26th, 2013 at 04:30pm

Cane you make me laugh. One of the funniest posts I've seen in a while. Good stuff!

on March 27th, 2013 at 04:21pm

Finley is an injury-prone headcase who drops the ball. Not even worth half the $8 million. And you to see him go full-blown lockeroom cancer? Wait until you guys draft Eifert. He'll make TO look like Donald Driver.

on March 27th, 2013 at 07:32am

Back from Vegas and my Marquette team still alive. Please Buzz Williams do not come to Minnesota. If he does....we have lost enough to Minnesota teams. As to Packer football TT is doing his usual in free agency....sweeping out the leftovers after the main meal...see he is bringing in Mike Huff a 30 year old 8 year veteran safety from Oakland after he was cut being due 8 million this year. Dallas looks like the only suitor and they are over cap money so look for TT to sign this guy at a relative bargain and have a good chance to start this year. As to the draft I look to Oline or linebacker in Round 1 GO PACK GO !!

on March 27th, 2013 at 11:04am

Christ Cane, your scaring the hell out of me, u have been agreeing with everything iv'e said lately, i hope your right and we get Eifert. lastly, just saw some tape on safety, jonathon cypricon, not sure on spelling, he is from FIU. i love him for 2nd round. great tackler and ball skills, reminds me of collins. go packers

on March 27th, 2013 at 12:28pm

OSSG, I have not hit delete, and this is just one of the reasons I think you're a great guy - you stand up for what you believe in, and That's just one reason what makes this blog so great. And I'll make my disagreement on this point...I actually think TT has done quite a bit this offseason to improve the team. He saw what was out there in the FA market, couldn't find what he was looking for where talent matched price, and passed. Sometimes it's the deals one doesn't make which are most beneficial. He's setting up the cap for available funds to sign draft choices, and for signing Raji, Matthews and Rodgers (probably in reverse order...). Is there anyone out there either in this FA market (even when it started, not just now) or next year's where there's an option anyone would take over these 3? I would probably guess the answer to that would be no. I'd even be willing to bet that if these guys wore purple instead of green and gold (perish the thought...), that our good friend Cane would agree as well. And where did these guys come from? The draft, of course. This team is not very far from making another run - I know a number of you disagree with me on that point, but give me a talented O-lineman, a talented D-lineman, some depth at linebacker, a running back with fresh legs that can make a difference (maybe that one's already on the roster! Harris? But the more, the better...), and another up-and-coming WR, the Pack is probably in pretty good shape. And that's only using 5 picks! Not to mention it leaves the salary cap in fine shape! No other team can make the claim of 4 consecutive playoff seasons with a SB title thrown in, and still has lots of upside! Let the good times roll, friends!!

on March 28th, 2013 at 03:02pm

First a heads up to my good friend Bill, the Voice of Reason. You are not going to agree with my fortcoming opinion so you may want to delete now. But ...to my other friends I ask one and only one big "Question" ?? And the "Question" is: What has TT done this off season to improve the team?? While all the other teams in the division have made signicant moves to improve TT has brought in one new prospect...a free agent kicker at no contract. He has new contracts for Hawk and Finley..busts the last few years. Looks like all the cap money he has is going to Rodgers, Raghi, and Claymaker. He has done nothing to upgrade the defense or the offensive line and running game...all have been below average the last two years. This is a QB league and we only win because we have the best. I worry Rodgers may become frustrated with no protection and running game and eventually want out. TT loves to build with the draft and that is not 2013 NFL football. I agree the draft is the most important cog in building a team but good teams have to supplement with quality free agents. I hope TT has a extraordinary draft. Yes many key players were lost to injury but they also are a question mark coming back. Given the way we ended the last two seasons and the aggresive nature and improvement of our division we cannot afford to stand pat and rely only on the draft to improve personnell. In the free agent nature of professional sports you have to compete or you will be passed by. Voice...if you are still there and have not deleted yet I hope your approach of draft and develop works....but dont expect Rodgers to wait and take another 50 sack season. GO PACK GO !!

on March 28th, 2013 at 12:24pm

Thanks, Trashman...one fun thing to do sometime is put "NFL free agency busts" into a Google search, and watch what comes up. Top of the heap is Albert Haynsworth - doesn't get much worse than that (but I think Mario Williams is going to give him a run for it...). Here's two that were bad deals with a Packers connection - when Ahman Green signed with Houston, and Desmond Howard going to Oakland - yeesh!! The recent signings (in the last several years) of Woodson and Pickett, IMHO, are good examples of what shrewed negotiating and talent evaluations of FA's that worked out for all parties involved, and neither one broke the bank. But I feel that Reggie White's signing was the exeption to the rule on a number of levels, mostly because it was in the infancy of free agency and not everyone had figured out how to make it work the best - essentially the Packers got lucky because that signing had set the bar so high that every signing since then is compared to it, which is not a fair comparison. Back in the day Jacksonville thought they could build an entire team going the FA route, and they ended up having to cut guys they needed and had under contract just to get under the cap. Needless to say, they hadn't been a factor for a long time, and are probably still recovering from that debacle. I think everyone here is going to keep an eye on how Jennings works out for the purple, which should be of interest to fans of both the Pack and the Vikes. And yes, you pointed out that Arizona discovered they made a huge mistake with Kolb, and the last I heard, unless they plan on just going with Skelton and drafting someone, their QB situation is far from settled. As we look around the league, man, we have it good, don't we? ;-)

on March 29th, 2013 at 02:39pm

I agree with you, Bill. Doing"nothing" is doing something. While it is dang hard to watch other teams "improve" as we do nothing, re-signing Rodgers and Mathews (and maybe Raji?)without mortgaging our future is more important than adding any free agent. Cutting Woodson and not overpaying for Jennings, while painful, were definitely the right moves in my opinion. We fans don't have enough info (or smarts) to be able to analyze the Packer cap situation over next 4-5 years to determine where Rodger's 100 million and Clay's 50-60 million would best fit. Have to trust Teddy and Russ Ball on that. On the other hand, sometimes I fear that Teddy resists free agency too much which I be belive is OSSG's point. You can't just compeltely ignore free agency, can you? Some moves do work out as we saw ourselves with Reggie, Woodson, and Pickett. Was Marshwan Lynch worth the 4th & 5th round picks Seattle gave up that fans wanted Ted to part with but he refused? Was Jared Allen worth the 1st and two 3rds that the Viks gave up? We hear about the dangers of free agency and more misses than hits and folks use Mario Williams and Kevin Kolb as examples. I'd be curious to see a list of big free agency moves over the last 8-2 years (more recent than 2 years probably does not provide enough time to judge the move yet) with an A-F grade on how the performance matched up to the contract (and picks given up if a trade). Obviously it would be subjective but I think we would all agree that Reggie White was a good one and Kolb was a bad one.

on March 29th, 2013 at 11:52am

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