The Green Bay Packers are interested in signing Jermichael Finley to a long-term deal and would rather not use the franchise tag on the tight end, Finley’s agent said Thursday.
“We’ve been speaking and they’ve made it clear they would like him to be back there and Jermichael’s made it clear he would like to be back there,” Blake Baratz said. “Now that the season’s over there’s a little more time to time to focus on the particulars.”
The two sides had several discussions throughout the season, though there is no immediate time frame from either side on getting a deal done. The primary issue seems to be finding a number acceptable for a young player (Finley will be 25 on March 26) who has yet to reach his potential and has an impact on the offense that isn’t measurable by stats. Finley (6-5, 247) along with Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and the Saints’ Jimmy Graham are this new breed of tight end that are nightmare matchups and play more like giant receivers than traditional tight ends.
Finley put up career highs with 55 receptions, 767 yards, 8 touchdowns, 14 catches of 20-plus yards. He also had 11 drops, according to STATS.
Finley is not in the same category as Gronkowski or Graham, but the potential is there. The question is whether the Packers can come to terms with his camp on a fair salary. He doesn't deserve an elite TE contract given the number of drops he had this year. Finley averaged 8.3 fantasy points per game this season, which was 5th behind Gronkowski (15.1), Graham (12.2), Antonio Gates (10.0) and Aaron Hernandez (9.7).