Jermichael Finley will continue to be a target for Aaron Rodgers for at least one more season. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

The verdict is in: Jermichael Finley officially paid roster bonus

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley made the announcement via Twitter this afternoon:

Yup, the Packers ponied up the $3 million he was due to ensure that he stays a member of the team. That money will go toward the more than $8 million the talented and controversial player is due this season. It will also complete the second year of a two-year extension he signed with the team in 2011.

Finley, who had a strong finish to his season last year – a campaign where he caught 61 balls for 667 yards. Head coach Mike McCarthy was so impressed with Finley’s performance last year that he called him out in his season-ending press conference, saying in essence that he was hoping Finley would be back this year with the team.

But just what is the future of Finley? Will the team pursue a long-term contract that would reduce his impact on the salary cap or do they simply let him play out his contract and test the free agent market next spring? Much will depend on his level of play in 2013. In addition, the Packers have to sign Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews to mega-contracts within the year and they may also consider extending the contract of defensive lineman B.J. Raji.

The contract to Rodgers is probably being worked on as we write this. Packers President Mark Murphy called the deal a “priority,” and many are saying that Rodgers will be rewarded prior to the NFL Draft in April.

So, looking to the future, how much would be left for extending Finley’s contract is still up in the air.

But one thing’s for sure, Finley will be around one more year for fans to kick around

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