The Green Bay Packers kept their promising young tight end by re-signing Jermichael Finley to a two-year deal worth just less than $15 million Wednesday.
The deal seems to be a middle-of-the-road agreement between Finley, who turns 25 next month, and the organization. Finley wanted a long-term deal. But he also dealt with injuries in 2009 and a season-ending knee injury in 2010.
Finley (6-foot-5, 247 pounds) finished this season with 55 receptions, 767 yards and eight touchdowns. The eight scores were the third most in the NFL behind the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski (17) and the Saints’ Jimmy Graham (11). Eleven drops were an issue and some coaches wondered if it was a mental issue considering he is one of the best natural pass-catchers on the roster. Along with Graham, Gronkowski and Davis, Finley is one of the new breed of tight ends that is a nightmare matchup for defenses — too big for a cornerback or safety and too fast for a linebacker.
Finley’s receptions and yardage were career-highs, but were not among the league leaders at the position. That’s what made it complicated to measure his worth. Finley’s presence on the field opens things for Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and the other receivers.
This is obviously great news for Aaron Rodgers and the entire Packer offense. Sure, Finley had his issues with drops, but as the article states, he demanded a lot of attention from the defense which opened things up for Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. If he can limit his drops, he should eventually make the Pro Bowl. Fantasy-wise, he'll likely hold 6th/7th round value heading into 2012 drafts.