$8.25 Million to Jermichael Finley Makes No Sense for Green Bay Packers
Well, duh. Did anyone expect that Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley would take a pay cut?
This past off-season, Finley signed a two-year, $14 million contract. According to Rotoworld, Finley will make $8.25 million in 2013. That includes a base salary of $4.45 million, $3 million roster bonus that’s due on Mar. 27, $500,000 per-game roster bonus and a $300,000 off-season workout bonus.
Does Finley deserve that kind of coin? In 2012, Finley posted numbers that one would expect from an average No. 1 tight end. He had 61 receptions for 667 yards with two touchdowns.
What Finley was most recognized for was when his agent, Blake Baratz, criticized Aaron Rodgers for his leadership skills. Strangely, Baratz used Michael Jordan as an example of Rodgers’ horrible leadership. Later that season, Finley criticized Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.
The Packers have until Mar. 27 to decide on whether they’ll keep Finley for the 2013-14 NFL season. If they release or trade Finley, they’re not on hook for any of that $8.25 million. They could use that money to reinvest in free agents or upcoming contracts for Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji, etc.
If anyone should understand that Finley isn’t required to win the Super Bowl, it’s Packers general manager Ted Thompson.
After Finley suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 of the 2010-11 season, Andrew Quarless was forced into the starting lineup. Although the rookie tight end had just 21 receptions and one touchdown, Quarless was praised for his run-blocking ability. The Packers finished that season with their 13th championship, fourth Super Bowl.
Finley isn’t a traditional tight end; he’s an over-sized wide receiver who imitates a tight end. Finley can’t block well, he drops too many passes, and either he or his agent are running their mouths. It’s not the type of relationship that flourishes with most football fans in Northern Wisconsin.
Why give Finley $8.25 million? If management is concerned about losing too many weapons in one off-season, then doesn’t it make more sense to give that money to Greg Jennings, a true wide receiver who’s a fan favorite?
Let’s assume that Finley and Jennings both leave. That gives the Packers more money. They’d still have Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb at wide receiver. Replace Finley with a cheaper, yet more effective run-blocking tight end. Now the offense becomes more dangerous because it isn’t as one-dimensional. D.J. Williams could also thrive as an inexpensive pass-catching tight end.
Just make sure that Rodgers has players who have strong work ethics. Rodgers has shown that he can work with those types of players.
Common sense equals more cents this off-season. Let’s stop overpaying for a fad that, as Tennessee Titans fans have come to realize with Jared Cook, is overrated. Tight ends who don’t block aren’t worth half of that money.