“InÂ my mind he is aÂ Green Bay Packer â€” hopefully, he is going through a tough medical situation. I think we all recognize that it was a serious injury. My understanding is he is doing everything and beyond to get himself ready. Weâ€™ll continue to watch that.â€ – Mike McCarthy, SiriusXM Radio
Well that’s interesting. Â As most of you are quite aware, the Packers are a fairly conservative and tight lipped organization so Mike McCarthy actively wooing Jermichael Finley back might actually have some deeper meaning to it. Â Add to that the Packers have reportedly left Finley’s locker room open during the offseason (which is a big deal since the roster limit is at 90 and some players are already have their lockers in a adjacent room) and it is starting to look like the Packers are doing the full court press to keep Finley in the Green and Gold. Â But how much money would it take to keep Finley a Packer and how much would the Packers be willing to fork over? Â On one hand Finley has the potential to be one of the best tight ends in the league but on the other he’s been wildly inconsistent and now has to worry about a neck injury that left him paralyzed on the field and a cervical fusion surgery that has a iffy prognosis for playing football again? Â In the NFL, contracts are weighed by how they stack to other contracts at the position so its good to see what the tight end salary landscape. (contract values courtesy of Over the Cap).
Top 5 tight end average yearly salary – $7.604 million: Keep in mind this number is likely to skyrocket very soon because Jimmy Graham is currently the 5th highest paid tight end, but he’s on the tight end franchise tag at the moment and if arbitration rules in his favor this could rise to as much as $12.312 million; which is probably a moot point either way because the Saints are going to make him the highest paid tight end in the NFL at some point, eclipsing Rob Gronkowski’s $9 million dollar average. Â There’s essentially no way that Finley is going to get anywhere near this range, while he has the physical tools to match the production of Gronkowski or Graham, he’s never actually done it and his neck injury was serious enough that no team was willing to take their chances on him during the offseason so far. Â Players in this range are Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis and Jason Witten; obviously Gronk, Graham and Davis are better tight ends and Witten and Gates have been consistent enough producers to warrant their high price tag.