Cleveland Browns Should Take Flier On Jermichael Finley

By Devin O'Barr
Jermichael Finley goes down
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a long time since the Cleveland Browns made a sizable move in NFL free agency, but they could benefit from making a splash at tight end this offseason. The crop at tight end is rather vast with players like Oakland Raiders Brandon Myers and Fred Davis of the Washington Redskins poised to help teams mightily in 2013.

The most interesting tight end floating around for the second straight offseason is Green Bay Packers diva Jermicheal Finley, who is likely to be released from the team before he is owed a $3 million roster bonus on March 27th. Green Bay wasn’t happy with Finley’s decline in production last year as he hauled in two touchdowns a year after the team signed him to a two year extension worth $14 million. He is due $8.25 million this season, which is a hefty commitment that the Pack might shy away from.

I have the Browns being a possible suitor because they lack ability at the tight end position with Ben Watson leaving for free agency this offseason. Watson had a nice run with the Browns, but there is no way that the team brings back a 32-year-old tight end with minimal upside. Finley is the opposite in terms of potential because the Packers have been waiting for him to be the Hall-of-Fame target that he has the ability to be.

Finley had a career-year in 2011 with eight touchdowns and 767 receiving yards, both marking the best of his five year stint in the NFL. With $50 million in cap space, what do the Browns have to lose? Brandon Weeden made the most out of the talent he had in 2012, making 21-year-old Josh Gordon a 800-yard receiver in his rookie season. This move would definitely benefit the Browns for years to come and I imagine Finley’s egotistical personality would love being the go-to guy in Cleveland.

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