If you missed Jermichael Finley‘s interview with Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com, take five minutes and check it out – Finley talks about guaranteeing taking his next team to the “promised land” and indicating he would love to hook up with the Seahawks in Seattle.
“I said it once before, I want to be a Packer for life. But we all know this is a business and the Packers are going to take it as a business but at the same time, I was playing at a high level when I got injured. But at the end of the day, I can go give any team what they need and take them to the promised land, I can guarantee you that.”
Though he did qualify that last statement by saying that he loves playing for the Packers and his “buddy” Aaron Rodgers, he also said that if the Packers don’t come up with a situation to his liking – translation: enough money – then there are a couple of teams that he would jump at the chance to join. One of those teams he mentioned by name: the Seattle Seahawks.
“I mean there’s a couple of teams I would love and would be on the first flight out to play with but like I said the Packers are going to come at me with something and I’m going to go to them first and see what they’ve got and if it’s not I would love to be on the first flight out to good old Seattle,” Finley said.
Finley was frank with Florio, which I can admire. He talked about his injury and that his doctor is 99.9 percent sure that the tight end would be cleared for full contact within the next few weeks – just in time so that Finley could begin testing the free agent market. While Free Agency opens in earnest March 11, all free agents’ representatives can begin discussions with interested teams on March 8.
Finley, who injured his spine in week 6 last season against the Cleveland Browns, was sidelined the rest of the season. He was off to a great start and had become one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets. Up to the point of his injury, he had 25 catches for 300 yards and was having one of the best seasons of his career. A couple of weeks before the big hit against Cleveland, he had also gone down with a head injury, but that didn’t keep him out.
Finley has been criticized for his inconsistency and dropped balls at crucial times in games, but his physical prowess and potential has had many pointing to him as someone ready for superstardom. However, that tag has been fleeting for Finley. His last contract with Green Bay was only for two years. No doubt, if he is cleared to play by his doctor, he is going to be asking for a long-term deal with lots of zeroes included in the number.
Whether the Packers ante up remains to be seen. Packers general manager Ted Thompson likes to sign his own players, but it’s unclear whether the Packers will take a chance with big dollars on a player who suffered a neck injury. They didn’t do it with Nick Collins. However, one can use Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as an example of a player who has come back to play as well, if not better, than he has at any time in his career after having neck problems. But one could argue that Manning isn’t catching passes over the middle and being hit by heat-seeking safeties.
Whatever the Packers decide will determine Finley’s future. It could be in Green Bay or the tight end may be headed to a new town on that first flight.