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.
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
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While the Seattle Seahawks have withdrawn their former interest in Finley, the Giants and the Patriots have been linked to him recently.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.