Green Bay Packers re-sign Andrew Quarless; end of Finley era


This is one of my favorite pictures of Andrew Quarless as he blocks for Donald Driver on the play that Driver called the greatest of his career. Quarless re-signed with the Green Bay Packers today.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

The Green Bay Packers continued today what they started earlier this week with the re-signing of cornerback Sam Shields and followed yesterday with the re-signing of OLB Mike Neal – today they announced the re-signing of tight end Andrew Quarless. Though exact details are not known yet, it is believed the deal is for two years.

This move would seemingly spell the end of the Jermichael Finley era in Green Bay. There’s no way the Packers are going to re-sign Finley at this point, but the team will surely reach into the Draft for a young tight end to help bolster that position. Former Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels also paid a visit to Green Bay … what will come of that?

Quarless was a hot commodity before the start of the free agency period, garnering interest from several teams, including the New York Giants and former Packers QB coach and now offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.

However, it was the Packers who came through with the best deal, keeping Quarless anchored in Green Bay and catching passes from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Andrew Quarless.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Quarless missed all of 2012 after suffering a serious knee injury late in 2011, but came back last year to play the entire year. Though he saw little playing time while Finley was in the lineup, he got his chance to shine late in the season. It took him some time to get back into the flow of the game, but he did have some fine showings late in the year as he and the entire Packers team showed improvement and eventually qualified for the playoffs.

If you remember he had big games in the two huge comeback wins against Atlanta and Dallas. Over that two-game stretch, Quarless caught 14 balls for 132 yards and two touchdowns. He was also important in the finale in Chicago last season when he caught a 22-yarder for a first down just before Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for the NFC North-clinching win.

The Packers, it seems, will continue to target their own players this free agency period. Though he has not signed yet, center Evan Dietrich-Smith has got to be on the Packers radar and because there hasn’t been any serious talk about James Jones, one has to wonder where negotiations with the wide receiver stand at this point. The Packers also have the likes of James Starks and John Kuhn out there as well … and don’t forget about B.J. Raji, Johnny Jolly, C.J. Wilson and Ryan Pickett.

It seems that while the free agency frenzy is beginning to moderate, the Packers are hitting their stride in signing their own.

What transpires from here remains to be seen.

Stand by …

In the meantime, here is the Green Bay Packers PR department’s press release on the re-signing of Neal and Quarless:

"PACKERS RE-SIGN LB/DE NEAL AND TE QUARLESSThe Green Bay Packers have re-signed LB/DE Mike Neal and TE Andrew Quarless. The signings were announced Thursday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.Neal posted career highs in several categories in 2013, appearing in all 16 games with 10 starts and recording 61 tackles (39 solo) and five sacks. He added the first interception of his career and a forced fumble.Drafted by the Packers in the second round (No. 56 overall) in 2010 out of Purdue, Neal has played in 36 games during his career with 11 starts and has posted 89 tackles (54 solo), 10½ sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. He ranks No. 2 on the team with 9½ sacks over the last two seasons.Quarless recorded career highs in several categories this past season after missing the entire 2012 campaign due to a knee injury. He played in all 16 games in 2013 with 10 starts and caught 32 passes for 312 yards (9.8 avg.) and two TDs.Selected by Green Bay in the fifth round (No. 154 overall) in 2010 out of Penn State, Quarless has appeared in 39 games with 15 starts during his career and has caught 56 passes for 586 yards (10.5 avg.) and three TDs."