The NFL offseason has literally just begun and already some of the biggest names in the league are being dropped by their respective teams. The Detroit Lions have made a clean sweep of their roster. The New York Giants have let go of Ahmad Bradshaw in a surprising release. Now, Jermichael Finley seems to have his name next on the chopping block. The Green Bay tight end told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he believes there is a "50/50" chance he remains with the club next season.
The Packers have to make a decision on Finley in a relatively short amount of time. He is due a $3 million roster bonus in March. If the Packers are able to trade Finley or just release him, they could save $8.25 million in cap space. While Finley has certainly shown signs of brilliance, the Packers might decide his price is too high and send him on his way. Finley could have the option a more price-friendly extension in order to return with the team.
"It's the nature of the business. If there's a guy that's overpaid or that they think is overpaid, they'll ask for a pay cut. There's no doubt that I want to be there for life. But it's a business and the business will tell you otherwise. I could say one the business front, it's a 50/50. But if it was up to me or anybody in my circle, I would love to be back," Finley said to the newspaper.
Finley is coming off a bit of a disappointing season in 2012, but so are the Green Bay Packers as a team. He caught 61 passes for 667 yards and two touchdowns. However, the 61 catches were the most ever by a Packers' tight end and the 667 yards were fifth most in team history. He ranked ninth in receptions among NFL tight ends. In the last three seasons, Finley has 64 receptions for 2.485 yards and 17 touchdowns.
If the Packers decide to release Finley, they are set up to replace him. Andrew Quarless was the best blocking tight end in 2011 for the team and caught 21 passes his rookie year in 2010. He is coming off of knee surgery and will look to make a return this season. Tom Crabtree and Ryan Taylor are also valid options as far as blocking goes, but neither have much catching abilities.
Finley feels he still has plenty of football left to play in him and this is just another chapter in his life. There is no question that if he is on the market come March, teams will certainly come calling.