Everyone who used Tyler Eifert at No. 26 for the Green Bay Packers on their 2013 NFL mock drafts can change their pick. And please don’t change it to Eddie Lacy. Anyone who follows Packers general manager Ted Thompson knows that there’s zero chance of that happening. Not at No. 26.
According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jermichael Finley will return for the 2013-14 NFL season. On Mar. 26, Finley was due a $3 million roster bonus. He’s scheduled to make a base salary of $8.25 million. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season.
It’s a nice birthday present for Finley, who turned 26 on Mar. 26. Just imagine how he’d celebrate once he heard the news. This is the same player who sprints up the field about 15-20 yards and does his shark dance whenever he makes a seven-yard reception.
After losing Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Tom Crabtree to free agency or retirement, the Packers decided that they couldn’t lose anymore offensive firepower. They’re hoping that Finley will have extra motivation to perform— and behave—in a contract year.
This does seem like management may have panicked, although they can afford it since they never addressed their defensive line in free agency. His comments (or his agent’s comments) have never seemed to affect the locker room or the on-field product. His drops during critical situations are a concern. Maybe Finley will have that breakout season that many fans have anticipated since his NFC Wild Card performance on Jan. 10, 2010.
Although the Packers won’t use a first-round pick on a tight end, it’s not unreasonable to think that they wouldn’t address this issue toward the mid or late rounds. Players such as Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce are tight ends who could provide depth in their rookie seasons and replace Finley in 2014.
With Finley staying put, it puts even greater emphasis on a defensive lineman with the first-round pick. The Packers must find a defensive lineman who’s ready to play—and ready to play in 2013. That’s especially true if nothing is done to rectify this matter in free agency.