If the Green Bay Packers don't bring Jermichael Finley back because of his neck injury it will hurt the team more than it will Finley. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Could Finley, Jolly, Pickett all return to Green Bay Packers?


We sometimes shake our heads when Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson goes to work. What comes out the other end of his efforts is many times mysterious, many times amazing.

That’s why I wasn’t completely surprised this morning when I saw the report that the Packers could still re-sign big-name free agents Johnny Jolly, Ryan Pickett and Jermichael Finley.

How likely is it that they can afford all three of these free agents?

Finley has already visited the Seattle Seahawks, failed their physical and seemingly had a handshake gentleman’s agreement that indicated when he is cleared by doctors to play football again he would reconnect with Seahawks officials and hammer out a deal. Until then, Finley would remain a Packers free agent.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has always been positive about Finley and even after Finley made his trip to Seattle McCarthy said they would be monitoring the situation and making a decision – like the Seahawks – after it became clear whether Finley would be allowed to play again.

Could the Packers re-sign Finley given that he will most likely be demanding big dollars?

Well, the possibility certainly remains in the realm of reality. You see, Finley is damaged goods, whether he believes or not. How many hits will he be able to absorb before another causes re-injury of his neck? We’ll never know.

The fact of the matter is that Finley could play 10 more seasons or he could be re-injured within 10 days. Will the Packers take the risk?

They will if they can get Finley to sign a short-term contract – that’s the only way they will be able to afford him. At this point, it would be unwise for the Packers to ink him to a long-term deal. They would want to see how Finley responds over the course of a single or two-year contract. If Finley is amenable to a situation like that, it would benefit both – the Packers could get more playing time from the veteran and he could continue to build his resume.

Much the same goes for the elder statesmen on the Packers defensive line – Jolly and Pickett.

Both are well-liked by fans, productive and fit in well with the Packers defensive scheme. However, as aging players, the Packers would most likely also look at short-term deals to keep Jolly and Pickett in Green and Gold. Bringing these two players back will allow the Packers to utilize the Draft to select the players of the future while giving Jolly and Pickett the opportunity to continue their careers without picking up and moving on.

It would also allow these veterans the opportunity to work with the younger players and to mentor along the way. Again – it’s a win-win for the organization and the players.

So, will the Packers move ahead by signing these three veteran players? Or will they let them re-sign elsewhere while continuing on with their draft and develop philosophy?

Stay tuned …

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Tags: Green Bay Packers NFL Free Agency

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