Packers News: Team plans to release Jermichael Finley

Packers TE Jermichael Finley and WR Greg Jennings could both be playing elsewhere in 2013.
Packers TE Jermichael Finley and WR Greg Jennings could both be playing elsewhere in 2013.
Packers TE Jermichael Finley and WR Greg Jennings could both be playing elsewhere in 2013.

Bob McGinn is reporting that the Packers plan to release tight end Jermichael Finley after the 2012 season.

Finley was drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft as a third-year sophomore from the University of Texas. He exploded onto the scene towards the end of the 2009 season, including perhaps the best game of his career against the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs.

But since suffering a season-ending knee injury in the fifth game of the 2010 season, Finley has yet to return to that same form.

In the past 29 games, Finley has caught 98 passes–an average of 3.4 receptions per game. Pro Football Focus has charged Finley with 23 drops over that same timespan.

The Packers re-signed Finley to a two-year contract extension prior to this season. However, it appears the team may go in another direction at tight end once the offseason rolls around.

“If the Packers cannot find a trade partner, they are prepared to release Finley because of financial, competitive and behavioral reasons.

There is no way the Packers will pick up the second half of the two-year, $14 million contract they gave Finley in late February, according to sources.

Finley hasn’t performed anywhere near the sixth-best tight end in the National Football League, which is where he ranks in average salary per year at $7 million.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

If Finley is, in fact, on his way out, the Packers’ offense will likely look a lot different next season. Greg Jennings is in the final year of his current contract, and his financial demands may be too steep for the Packers to meet. Donald Driver is expected to retire after the season.

Second-year wide receiver Randall Cobb has emerged as the No. 1 target for Aaron Rodgers. Cobb figures to be the team’s slot receiver moving forward, while Jordy Nelson and James Jones figure to be the starters on the outside, assuming Jennings is playing elsewhere next season.

But if the Packers cut ties with Finley, there may be a slight chance that the team brings Jennings back.

The Packers would almost surely bring in another player to compete with Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor next season if Finley were released.

When he was at his best, Finley was a headache for opposing defenses. But now, he may cause more headaches for his own team. Finley’s agent criticized Aaron Rodgers as a leader earlier this season, and Finley’s subpar play and questionable off-field comments have drawn the ire of many Packers fans.

Finley and the Packers are in Chicago and scheduled to play the Chicago Bears today at noon. The fifth-year tight end has enjoyed playing against the Bears, scoring four touchdowns in two games during the 2011 season.


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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.


27 thoughts on “Packers News: Team plans to release Jermichael Finley

  1. Interesting that this news is released at this time. It could be a double-edged sword. On one edge, perhaps it would inspire Finley to hold onto the ball and play to the level the Packers expected and paid him ti play and showcase himself to the league for next year. On the other edge, he and his agent may start disrupting the team’s chemistry with their damned big mouths more than earlier as the Packers approach the playoffs. Bottom line is, by next February the cancer is gone.

    1. Boy, Isure hope so, but you never can tell.

      Quarless’ knee injury was considered “catastrophic”- his knee was completely destroyed and rebuilt. Finley’s knee injury was relatively minor in comparison, and many would say Jermichael never really recovered from his injury- he simply has not been the same player since.

      Mark Chmura made a comment on the radio many months ago that I initially dismissed, but after carefully watching, I fully agree with:

      Jermichael Finley’s biggest issue is he has no balance whatsoever. He’s always falling down, off balance, trying to keep his feet underneath him. I have to wonder if his knee just isn’t strong enough or has sustained structural damage that limits his ability to stabilize his body weight.

      It’s sad, really… And I truly hope Quarless is recovered and able to play to his potential.

      (obligatory Quarless lifetime highlight- motion, devastating block on Allen, gets open downfield, makes the catch for 20+ yards..)

  2. bad timing for this article to be published, morning of Packers at Bears game which will decided NFC North div title. I guess McGinn needed some “press”.
    Finley is a goner.

    1. Gotta agree with the timing. Is this speculation on McGinns part because I have a hard time believing a organization tight lipped as the Packers would let something like that out. Maybe it’s motivation for the loud mouthed cry baby. So sad too because the Packers gave him EVERY opportunity to succeed and be the man in this offense. All he’s done is drop passes, be disruptive, and really look like a all around idiot.

  3. Goodbye to this generation’s version of T-Buck …. A hall of famer in his own mind with everyone else to blame. Now let’s get Jennings signed with the extra $7M …..

  4. Even with savings from releasing Finley…I’m not giving Jennings the high dollar he wants.
    More than one suitcase gets packed.

    As for how this article may affect Finleys play…it should behoove him to play lights out if at all possible,anything less,offers no upside for his next team or contract.

    1. I think the Packers franchise Jennings next year. Jennings has a least a couple of real good seasons left providing he stays healthy. The Packers trade or release Finley. That frees up 7 million. The tag would be about 14 million? Something close to that. Then draft a receiver, a speed guy or a bigger receiver and this way with Jennings there he has a season to get feet wet. There I played GM for a day. What do you guys think?

    1. Let us not forget that D.J.Williams was a John Mackey award winner in 201o (best college TE). He may still step up.

  5. Why are you quoting a hack reporter as if he is a spokesman for the Packers? Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy do not do business in public and would never make these kind of statments. You might as well say that McGinn takes a crap and we smelled it.

    Finley is underperforming but so too is the Packers offense, including MM and his playcalling. Pointing out Finley as an overpayment is simple and not very insightful particularly since we don’t seem to use the TE for much.

  6. Finley is a good player. He has helped the Pack win lots of games. He says dumb stuff but he still is hard for linebackers to cover and is an excellent TE. the other Pack TE’s wouldn’t even make other teams rosters.
    He and AR seem to be connecting, if the dude has some attitude/ who cares/ He has had some drops but has had 4 or 5 key 3rd down catches recently pick up the 1st that were at crucial times. let these guys play and don’t be so critical

    1. I’m not sure who this is directed at, but I’m a big Finley supporter, personally.

      He definitely has horrible timing with a lot of his comments, and he’s just flat-out bad with words. But I’d like to see No. 88 back.

      I just can’t forget the “good days” with Finley. He was a monster at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. I’ve been waiting to see that again.

      1. As they say, “Potential will get you fired.”

        I have been a pretty staunch supporter of Finley, but he truly has squandered his final chance of cementing himself as a crucial piece of the Packers offense.

        He has not been the same guy since the knee injury. Is it mental, physcial, or both? I don’t know, but it’s undeniable.

        All I know is this far into the game, we can’t justify the escalators in the second half of his two year contract based on what he’s failed to show us this year.

        It’s pretty clear the Packers gave him this deal to see how he’d respond. He has not lived up to the contract paid this season. Cut bait. Sure, he might go on to excel elsewhere, but he’s given the Packers no confidence or signs he’ll do it here and now.

        To be honest, I decided after watching him just decide to not block for Alex Green on an inside zone play two weeks ago that Finley has become a waste of space. Such a waste of talent.

        1. Saw that play and thought the same exact thing!We need to have a tight end who is at least a willing blocker.
          Hopefully one will arrive via the next draft.

  7. It is just as the prophesy foretold!

    The Quarless is coming to save us!!

    Praise Him! Praise His name!

  8. Back in Finley’s early days he once criticised Rodgers (in the media) for not giving him a catchable ball (it was with his catching arc). Packers position coach chewed him out and sent him to the co-ordinator, who chewed him out and sent him to MM, who chewed him out. You need that kind of sledgehammer to get through to him.

    He just doesn’t ‘get it’. He says all the wrong things, drops a stupid number of passes, does not seem to work hard enough to make himself better (see James Jones for how to work to get better, he has dropped virtually NOTHING this year).

    Finley has five kids (not all to the same mother). After having played so badly and dropped passes all over this year, when he does catch a ball he does stupid celebrations like YOTTO (has he forgotten already what YOTTO means).

    This guy will be bankrupt in less than five years after leaving the NFL.

    He is the poster boy for $m+ talent and 10c head.

    1. Again,
      everyone who watches him day in, day out- players, media, coaches- they ALL say there’s no questioning his work ethic and commitment to the game.

      Somethings clearly not clicking, but all the insiders say it’s not his work ethic on the practice field to improve.

  9. When the Packers drafted him my first thought was he should have stayed at Texas for another season. His conduct off the field tends to support this.

    His off-season work seems to be erratic. One year he was using a boxing regimin to get in shape. Last off-season (?), he was working with a personal trainer. I know other players do similar things but it seems Finley HAS to talk about it. He likes the spotlight.

    He certainly has potential. I’d like to see the on-field effort match the reported off-season and practice field efforts we hear so much about.

  10. @Razer: Seriously, did you just call Bob McGinn, widely recognized as one of the finest sports journalists of our time, a “hack reporter”? *facepalm* The content of the report may or may not be true, but the man’s credentials are impeccable.

    1. I don’t know Bob McGinn from Sponge Bob, but I can’t accept that he is presenting sentiment from close sources as fact. This is not reporting, it is opinion passed as fact. Trust me, TT or MM would never express such feelings and you can bet that Bob McGinn will not see the inside of a scoop for the life of this regime.

  11. tell you what i would let finley go, to get some run game. if im right chris johnson maybe open in, by the end of the season.

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