A short story surfaced on the NFL’s website today stating that Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley could be medically cleared to return to full contact football activities as soon as three to four weeks from now.
The original source of the story was ProFootballTalk.com and Finley told them that his doctors are “99.9% confident” that he will be cleared to resume his football career.
Keep in mind that these are Finley’s doctors that would be giving this clearance, not a NFL team doctor.
We have often heard players say they are fine when they are really injured and that they expect to be back by a certain time, only to wind up on injured reserve. In Finley’s case, I have no doubt that he will get another shot to play in the NFL again. I’m just not sure that will be with the Packers.
Finley will become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins in March. He has said that he does not intend to offer teams any discounts on his services. Besides the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham, a truly healthy Finley is the next biggest name on the free agent market at tight end. I would be surprised if Finley’s agent doesn’t get at least one call from an interested team.
In the Packers’ case, they have many pending free agents of their own to look at and evaluate. They obviously won’t bring them all back and they will likely have to part with a few they would like to return. The defensive side of the ball continues to be a need area and that would likely be a deterrent to paying a healthy Finley what he is looking for. But we’re talking about a risky Finley.
When it comes to risks, the Packers don’t mess around. They chose not to return safety Nick Collins when the star safety suffered a similar injury in 2011. Collins was eventually released and has not played in the NFL since. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said that if Collins were his son, he wouldn’t let him return to football. Still, Collins played safety and was a hard-hitting one at that. Perhaps the Packers or another team might feel that the risk is much lessened for the tight end.
If Finley is cleared by his doctors, I would think that the Packers would at least weight the option of returning him. This would entail working Finley out and ensuring that he appears to be back to form. The other side would be the kind of contract he would want. It’s very possible that the Packers have an interest in bringing Finley back but won’t because of his price tag.
Against bigger and physical teams such as the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, the Packers desperately need a Finley to open up the offense. His presence in the middle, at the goal line and in short yardage makes the Packers extremely tough to defend. Add in the new threat of running back Eddie Lacy and a healthy Finley would be a welcome addition to the 2014 Packers.
I continue to emphasize a “healthy” Finley. While it is encouraging to hear that a doctor may clear him, it’s ultimately what NFL team doctors say that will determine Finley’s path over the next several months.
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone:
22 thoughts on “Finley Expects Medical Update Soon”
1. Finley never was that good. He’s an average NFL tight end. His injury has clouded peoples’ minds as to the reality of his ability.
2. Question: If Finley had played for a different team last year, would TT even consider making him an offer? A free agent coming off a major injury during a year where his value is pumped up do to the fact that the FA TE market is weak. Answer: No way in hell.
Not that he’s a T.O. or Darrelle Revis diva, but his attitude still stunk and I say good riddance.
He has a great attitude. Finley is a great Team player. His only problem was saying exactly what he thought w/o filtering his words. He always had high expectation for himself and spoke about them, which is what put most off. His agent said something about Rodgers leadership, but Finley has always been complimentary of Rodgers.
I’ll miss him if he doesn’t return. Packers need more players that’ll speak their mind IMO. Too many players that toe the company line.
Saying things like “it takes two”, when it was clearly his fault for dropping the ball repeatedly, and never fully accepting the blame says something about his character.
He has said that he’s not willing to take a pay-cut ($8 mill a year???), which can only be derived from how he thinks so highly of himself.
He lost weight on purpose during the 2010 off-season so as to hopefully become fast and play like a wide receiver and therefore demand more $$$.
My point is, while he wasn’t totally terrible, and he did improve, he never fully got out of the “I’m so awesome” perception of himself. I could never imagine Randall Cobb or Donald Driver saying some of the things he said (and when Driver DID say something of the like, the fans didn’t take too kindly of it).
He wasn’t a diva, he wasn’t totally arrogant, but he still lacked humility. Humility is arguably the single most valuable thing to have in the NFL. The Packers are the kind of organization that takes pride in accepting humility and distances themselves from arrogance.
Any relationship takes two people. Even so Finley and Rodgers weren’t on bad terms. They started working TOGETHER on Saturdays before games and their relationship got a lot better again. Go figure…
I don’t recall Finley ever blaming anyone else for his drops. Feel free to prove me wrong if you can find something where he did.
Players always say they wont take a paycut when they are FA. Why would they, it just hurts their bargaining position. That’s common sense. When negotiating your start high and move down as needed. You don’t start low and hope a team overpays.
So he lost weight… He thought he could be more effective at a lighter weight. That’s not being a bad teammate, its doing what you think is best for you to be productive.
I’ll agree he never became quite as good as his potential indicates he could be. That’s hardly unusual, but he’s only 26 yrs old now. He still might.
Everyone is different, why is it that he has to be like Driver or Cobb? Why can’t you accept that he isn’t like Driver or Cobb? That doesn’t make him anything other than Jermichael Finley. He isn’t someone else… Let him be who he is.
Both valid points and with the other more pressing needs on the team, color him gone. The Packers went all on him the last two seasons and for their $16MM investment got about a $6MM return.
Time to fold this hand, Ted and draw an ace on the next deal.
Amen, Quarles is fine and Bostik has a high upside, big body soft hands.
I think the Packers offense could be great with a tight end who can stretch the field, but I think they would be better off drafting one in the early or middle rounds this year, rather than bringing Finley back.
I like Finley more than I think most Packer fans do, but I just can’t see them bringing him back. Way too much risk both financially and dependability wise.
Finley or Shields? Its an easy choice.
His doctor has NOT cleared him to play as of this date. I give him about 1% chance playing for GB again.
I cannot help but sense that only some in the media will attempt to make valid a talk between Finley and TT that is already 100% mooted…except for the obligated handshake with a good luck attached.
Even if they could bring him back, I don’t think they should. Talent and all, it’s been such an up and down ride with this player for the last five years that I can only say that enough is enough.
Like I keep saying, cap room is precious right now, and Finley has stated that he has no plans to take a pay cut. Is this guy worth $8 mil a year? NO WAY.
Agreed, not at 8 million. I doubt any other team is going to pay him that kind of money either. I’d rather see the Packers sign a guy like Chris Clemons the Safety from the Dolphins. He shouldn’t break the bank and he’s still young. If Ted really wanted to make the defense better he could add someone like ILB Vinny Rey of the Bengals and then draft a TE. Either Ebron, Amaro, or Seferian-Jenkins would be there at 21 and you have a TE .
Of course he has stated he isn’t taking a pay cut… his perceived worth is irrelevant if he’s to enter free agency. At that point, he’s worth what the highest bidder is willing to pay. The Packers won’t give him a fat stack of bills to keep him out of free agency, I’m sure he realizes that.
That’s because you’re smart. Finley on the other hand is… well yes very smart, but even smart people can be arrogant. The NFL is FULL of smart but arrogant people.
Do we need a stretch the middle of the field guy when we have Cobb? We need a guy that is a triple threat…run-blocker, pass-blocker, possession 1st down maker. He doesn’t need to be flashy. Another threat would be nice. But Rodgers is content to throw for 9 yards all day long until something opens up deep.
I would love to see a great blocking tight-end who can catch. Where is Crabtree? (Tampa) I would have liked to have seen him in this years offense.
If you ever wondered how is it possible the GBP have no defense and no money to spend, just look at how TT throws his money away on very mediocre talent. Giving Finley $14 MM ranks up there with offering Raji $8MM/yr and Hawk back-to-back $50 MM contracts. It’s just ass clownish.
Good summary writeup.
I appreciate his talent, and its always a potential breakout year. I know everyone is tired of hearing it. But anyone is capable of breaking out…and Finley certainly one of those. Seems he would be one of those that breakout if he could just keep a long string of games, and get in a rythmm (never could spell this word). He always seems at the verge until some injury (same with many other GB players). I’m concerned about the talent drain this year. If it is a draft and develop philosophy…then that suggests you gotta keep the ones that actually develop well. If you keep developing talent, and it leaves because the price goes up commensurate….then its not really a draft and develop philosophy. More like a DRAFT (cheap labor) and REPLACE (in place of developed talent).
You have a finite amount of money. If you hit home runs on all your draft picks, there is no way you will be able to keep them all beyond their rookie contracts. Unless of course you are willing to mortgage your future!
Finley can’t find a way to stay healthy. The Packers more players that can suit up and play. An injury prone tight end, who seems to produce more drama than points, and is expecting a big payday, may look better in another uniform.
Finley spent his final season in Green Bay.,,and possibly in the NFL. Draft time in May for Thompson means get a tough TE ‘with sticky hands’ that will hopefully last a few seasons longer than Finley did.
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