Jermichael Finley Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

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Jermichael Finley
Jermichael Finley

1) Introduction:  Jermichael Finley has transformed from unknown rookie prospect who chewed out his own quarterback to the prototype for the new receiving tight end to the guy with limitless potential and limited realization.  But through out that all, Finley has always been an enigma; was Finley really as good as 2009 or as bad as 2012?  Was Finley a good guy who just loved football or a guy who threw his all-world quarterback under the bus twice?  Another page of the mystery that is Finley was added this year after he suffered a potentially career ending injury and has claimed he won’t take a discounted price on a “prove you’re healthy” deal.  Will Jermichael Finley with the Packers in 2014?  Will Jermichael Finley be in the NFL in 2014?

2) Profile:

Jermichael Decorean Finley

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 3/26/1987 in Lufkin, TX
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 240
  • College: Texas
  • Rookie Year: 2008
  • NFL Experience: 6

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  High.  Finley played rather poorly during the first half of the 2012 season but had a quietly good second half, and many expected Finley to build on that success to the 2013 season.  Add to that 2013 being Finley’s contract year with the Packers and it should be expected that Finley would be on his best behavior and on a mission to maximize his future earnings, whether that be with the Packers or some other team.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Finley’s highlight definitely happened during the beginning of the season, where he scored a touchdown in the first two games of the season against the 49ers and the Redskins, also amassing 11 receptions and 121 yards.  While Finley still never became the offensive focus like he was in late 2009, Finley still was a matchup problem and provided another wrinkle to the Packers offense with a injury-riddled wide receiver core.  Finley’s lowlight is naturally his potentially career ending concussion/spinal cord injury against the Cleveland Browns that was simply a matter of bad luck as neither the hit nor the impact to the ground was really that devastating, just the combination that unfortunately has likely significantly shortened his career.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Marginal.  When Finley was on the field, he was a good player but not one that defenses focused on or had to game plan around (which was most likely Randall Cobb or Eddie Lacy this year).  However, just because Finley wasn’t the focal point doesn’t mean he didn’t contribute; in 6 games Finley recorded 25 receptions for exactly 300 yards, with 3 touchdowns.  Had Finley not been injured, his season projected to around 66 receptions for 800 yards and 8 touchdowns, which are respectable numbers for a tight end and would have put him in the top 10 in most statistics this year.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Jermichael Finley was already on season ending IR when the Packers played the 49ers in the wild card round and thus did not play.

Season Report Card:

(C) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  C

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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  • Savage57

    Sigh…

    What might have been with this guy. Sometimes people just can’t get out of their own way.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      To be fair, his two injuries are not anyone’s fault and he looked like a completely different player after his knee injury. Yes the guy didn’t know when to shut his mouth and not throw his quarterback under the bus but to say that he wasted his potential (Pacman Jones, even Johnny Jolly really) is probably a bit too much.

  • Jake

    Agreed. The catch crucial 3rd down catch in the 4th quarter in the Ravens game should be his highlight. Most people forgot that catch sealed the game

  • Scheny Schen

    Was having an “A” type season until the injury in my mind. Fewer drops, breaking lots of tackles, playing hard, not yapping. Looked great. Unfortunately, will most likely get waived because of injury/pay and we will have to start over. Bums me out. GoPack!

  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    Obviously the Packers are a better offense with Finley in the lineup, but not at $8 million a year. No matter if he wants to take a pay cut he’ll have to, no one is paying him that kind of money, not yet. I hope he’s able to play again but I really doubt it’s in Green Bay. Good Luck Jermichael.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I guess the question is that if Finley hadn’t gotten injured and gotten a little more production in the second half, Finley could legitimately be seen as a top 5-10 tight end, at which case do you think he would be worth it?

  • Tarynfor12

    Is it really that hard to accept?

    We have done more on offense without him than with him.This year again,the offense,even with the added losses of Rodgers,Cobb and the ‘Who’ guy himself elsewhere,the stats,especially for those who live and die by them,prove he is not the ‘pendulum’ swinger for the teams success.

    “….his season projected to around 66 receptions for 800 yards and 8 touchdowns, which are respectable numbers for a tight end and would have put him in the top 10 in most statistics this year.”

    If we can simply discard his potential of re-obtaining a case of the drops,minus a ‘wow’ catch here and there,and we are stuck scratching different parts in utter confusion of where this guy goes physically and mentally on the field.

    The word that stands out the most is’respectable’,the money,time and patience that has already be showered upon him deserves much more than ‘respectable’in return and IMO,would still be waiting for even had the injury not happened to him.

    However,if he played defense,I could understand all the hope and hype he’d bring,as like others on defense doing so already.

    • JimR_in_DC

      I have no problem if the Packers decide to move on from Finley.

  • Big T

    He was finally starting to play with some attitude. We must face the music his playing days are over. He will not play another snap for the NFL.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always been a big fan of Finley’s. I’ve never really taken anything he’s said as a indictment of Rodgers or the Packers when others did. I hope he’s able to return to a long healthy life first and a successful career secondarily. Love to see him back in GB for a few more year, but realize that is highly unlikely.

    My highlite of him would be the catch he made vs Pitts. One of the most athletic receptions I’ve seen by a TE. The play vs Balt is a close 2nd and the long TD pass vs Minn 3rd.

  • GBPDAN

    I too thought Finley was having a good season prior to the injury. Not many drops and he seemed more physical. I think a C is to low. I’d give him at least a B

    • Anonymous

      Agree I would give him better than a C. B seems more fair IMO.

    • Anonymous
    • Thomas Hobbes

      I thought he was doing pretty much what was expected of him, I didn’t see him going above and beyond his play from the previous year. Keep in mind this grade is curved based on last year, hence its not like we grading Matt Flynn to play at an Aaron Rodgers level or anything. With that in mind, he basically did what he was doing last year, hence a C.

      • Anonymous

        He was breaking tackles and running w/ a physicality that he had never shown in any of his previous seasons. His targets from Rodgers was up significantly from any other season he had..

        “Finley was breaking or avoiding tackles at a rate far more frequent than any other NFL tight end. In the four full games in which Finley was healthy, he had an average of seven targets from Rodgers. Finley’s previous career-high average in any of his first five NFL seasons was 5.8 targets per game”

        I would say that is going above and beyond from any previous season, not just last year.

  • Barutan Seijin

    The expectations grade is perverse.
    If you hate Finley, you’d expect him to have dropped a lot of balls & flubbed things in general. He didn’t. So he should get a high grade. Conversely, if you like him, you’d expect him to be one of the top TEs in the league. It didn’t quite work out that way, so he should get a low grade.

    But whatever. It doesn’t matter too much anyway. It seems unlikely he’d come back to the Packers if he comes back at all. Best of luck to him.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      The way we are grading this is based on what the player did the year before and where he projected this year. I would say that Finley had a quietly good year last offseason and he should be expected to have a good to great season this year consider it was a contract year. If he hadn’t gotten hurt I think he would have gotten to that point but with the injury it’s really hard to give him a better grade.

  • Razer

    I don’t dislike the guy but I am torn between over-rated and over-paid. His inconsistent play as a receiver was combined with an indifference to blocking for the run game. Sorry, he has never gone beyond average in my eyes.

    • JimR_in_DC

      I totally agree, Razor. He never was what he could’ve been.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      To be fair, blocking was never his thing and the Packers would have been stupid to diminish his receiving skills to be a better blocker. He’s a big wide receiver and just like all other receivers, blocking is a thing the “do” but it doesn’t pay the bills so obviously most wide receivers take very little stock in their blocking prowess.

      • Shavager

        Finley’s a TE that didn’t like to block, a player whose size and speed gave him advantage over LB’s and DB’s trying to cover but he does NOT have the hands of a receiver. He’s NOT in the class of a Gronk, Graham or Gonzalez because he does NOT have the pass catching skills they do. With the spinal injury and expecting some big bucks to sign, he’s not gonna get resigned in GB even though McCarthy says it looks like Finley could be cleared to play again. Thompson wasn’t willing to gamble on Nick Collins, don’t expect him to with Finley.