The future of Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is still up in the air. Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Green Bay Packers slowly closing door on Finley


The 2014 NFL draft and ensuing offseason activities were eye-opening for the fans of the Green Bay Packers.

While there were some sure additions in Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and additions to the defensive line, there was a third round surprise in Richard Rodgers, the big tight end out of California. He’s 6-4 and has a monster wing span to match his enormous hands, and a whole lot of raw talent that could be molded to fit nicely into this Packers‘ offense.

The Packers are preparing for life after Finley.

Not to mention, the Packers are still holding on to Ryan Taylor, Jake Stoneburner, Brandon Bostick and newly re-signed Andrew Quarless. Add Rodgers and rookie Colt Lyerla and what you have is a tight end full house. While the Packers administration is still singing to the tune of having the option to bring Finley back, even the layman can see what is happening here.

The Packers are preparing for life after Finley.

Would it be such a bad thing to move on?

Finley hasn’t been the most consistent of offensive weapons since his Green Bay debut. He’s a beast, don’t get me wrong … and everyone knows it. But maybe that is the problem. He knows what he is capable of, we have seen glimpses of glory here and there. Perhaps he is just too much in his own head and is letting the outside praises and criticisms get to him. He is overcoming a 2011 and 2012 case of the drops. When it came down to the wire in 2012, Finley showed his worth, at least to have the

Jermichael Finley Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Jermichael Finley
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

opportunity to play out his contract and gain an extension. He was on point to have a record year in 2013, had he not sustained a serious neck injury that put his entire career in jeopardy.

While the business side of the NFL doesn’t always resonate within the hearts and minds of the average fan – it’s a sure-bet that between the inconsistencies and the injuries, most are of the mindset that it’s time to part ways.

Sure, it will be difficult to see him don another uniform if he chooses to remain an NFL tight end. We will miss his explosive play-making abilities and his tenacity on the field. But we can’t ask him to lower his perceived worth just because he’s high-risk. He still believes himself to be a top-tier tight end, and though he may be … we just can’t afford to pay him like one when seven other guys are healthy and high-reward.

While the Seattle Seahawks have withdrawn their former interest in Finley, the Giants and the Patriots have been linked to him recently. Belichick has a record of taking in high-risk and high-reward players, so a Patriots move seems like a match made in Heaven, especially with Gronkowski paying rent on the injured reserve list for the second season in a row. Could the Packers actually sever ties?

Taylor and Stoneburner are capable backups but neither is up to the standard of a starting tight end, at least not yet. Before injury, Brandon Bostick showed flashes of serious potential and looked Finley-esque on the field. Andrew Quarless has proven himself, especially down the stretch without Aaron Rodgers last season. However, he still looks and feels a little meek for my taste and I don’t see him as a long-term answer at tight end. Between Bostick and rookie OTA sensation, Richard Rodgers, I think the Packers can feel comfortable cutting Finley’s final check.

It’s time to say goodbye. I will miss that weird rooster dance, though. I always loved that.

Tags: Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley

  • http://powip.com vermontaigne

    Quarless didn’t look too meek when he popped a would-be tackler to spring Donald Driver on what Driver characterized as his best play ever, if I recall correctly.

  • siggyvidir

    Lyerla???

  • shavager

    IF Lyerla gets his act together, HE could be the #1 TE for Packers. Despite his size and potential, Packers don’t really have much production from Rodgers at Cal to base future status on until he proves himself in camp and on the field. TWO TD receptions in his career at Cal isn’t much production, at least he’s tough as a blocker which Finley wasn’t. The roster will come down to Stoneburner or Taylor likely unless somebody busts or injury happens. Quarless was resigned to be starter with Bostick likely as primary backup, Lyerla and Rodgers could both compete for these spots but don’t see Packers keeping more than 5 TE’s at most.

  • SouthSideSkeptic

    While Finley always showed great potential, he never played at that high level on a consistent basis.

    And now the injury issue. Given all the heat the NFL is getting over the concussion issue, it is hard to see the Pack wanting to risk seeing a player of theirs permanently disabled. Especially when there are other options.

    Oh, J-Mike, what could have been.