On Aaron Rodgers, Nick Collins, Jermichael Finley ... and Ryan Braun

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was defended today by his good friend, Aaron Rodgers. Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

It’s been an interesting couple of days in the world of Green Bay Packers news – and sports news in general.

With apologies to that guy Jeremy Lin in the overrated, oversaturated and overblown world of New York sports, there’s much more going on in sports than the Knicks’ phenom’s exploits.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on in our own backyard.

Bear with me … the following are random thoughts on a few happenings. There isn’t any  connections intended … these are just items that I felt needed addressing

Yesterday the team re-signed mercurial tight end Jermichael Finley to a two-year contract that will pay him $13 million; and Aaron Rodgers came out today with a stinging bashing of Major League Baseball and the sports media industry in the aftermath of the ruling by an arbitration board in favor of Milwaukee Brewers slugger and 2011 Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun.

Add to that, the notion that Packers safety Nick Collins inches closer toward his meeting with doctors about his progress following neck surgery and his football future and you’ve got enough of a mix of news that should keep one interested.

So let’s start with Finley.

See the analysis after the jump … and don’t forget to Like Lombardiave on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Jermichael Finley's speed and ability to get downfield are a couple of important assets he brings to the team. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

In my mind, his new contract is a win-win for both the Packers and Finley. The two-year deal gives the Packers their elite tight end for at least one more season where, if he has a breakout year, will allow the Packers to either look at signing him again to a long-term deal or if Finley demands too much, send him packing in a trade that could bring the team at least a couple high draft picks.

Despite the rap that he dropped too many passes … complaints that grew with his poor performance in the Packers playoff loss to the Giants last season, Finley brings some heady statistics back to the Packers. He caught 55 passes last season for more than 700 yards and joins former Packers star Paul Coffman as the only tight ends to have two 600-plus yard seasons.

His value to the team is important … he’s a decent blocker and can stretch a defense either from the traditional tight end position or from the outside when he lines up as a wide receiver.

Finley’s signing also gives the Packers more options in utilizing the franchise tag, something that most felt would be slapped on the tight end.

And just how will Nick Collins impact the 2012 Packers? Will he get the green light to move on with his career or will he be finished? Next month, he meets with doctors for consultations about how he is recovering from neck surgery.

The prognostication is unclear to everyone but the doctors at this point, but their determination will have a huge impact on the Packers. If Collins is told not to move ahead with his football career, the Packers will most likely cut ties with the All-Pro player, thus dumping a huge chunk of change back into the books … money that will be available for the signing of other players.

Now, what about Aaron Rodgers?

He came out today with a blistering tweet against Major League Baseball after his good buddy Ryan Braun was exonerated of charges that he violated the league’s substance abuse policy. Here’s a sampling of what the NFL MVP had to say about the treatment of the MLB Most Valuable Player:

“MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free #exonerated”

“When its guilty until proven innocent, all u need are the facts. #howsthecrowmlb #exonerated”

Now, those are fighting words and fly in the face of MLB officials, including commissioner Bud Selig, the former owner of the Brewers.

Here’s more from Rodgers via Twitter: “I’ll let my buddy take it from here. All u idiots talking about technicality open up for some crow too. See if Espn gets pressured not to let the people hear the truth. Should get interesting. #exonerated #shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”

All I can say about that is congratulations to Braun for his reinstatement. It’s a great thing for baseball and and even better thing for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley MLB NFL Nick Collins Ryan Braun

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