Jermichael Finley (Photo Credit: AP)
Since he was drafted in 2009, tight end Jermichael Finley has been a key part in the Green Bay Packers offense. Whether it was a long pass over the middle or a goal line fade, the Packers have been able to rely on Finley to make the big grab, somewhat. While being somewhat reliable, Finley has also made Packers fans hold their breath many times when a football has been thrown his way. Last year, Finley dropped nine routine balls, most of them in clutch situations. There were times when he would surprise us and come up with a spectacular catch, but his drops usually overshadowed the highlight reel grabs.
With or without the drops, Finley is a key component to the Packers offense. Having him in the game takes some of the focus away from wide receivers James Jones and Jordy Nelson. More focus on Finley allows Nelson and Jones to stretch the field with single coverage and attack with the big play. The big play with Nelson and Jones will in return open the field for Finley. Deep coverage on Jones and Nelson leaves the middle of the field wide open for Finley, and the Packers passing game is sure to be electric.
Even though he has been consistently dropping the football, Finley has made it known that he wants to play a bigger part in the Packers offense. He also wants a bigger contract to go along with that bigger part. The problem for the Packers is that defensive stars Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji are getting close to their contract years. Now that Aaron Rodgers is signed, Matthews and Raji are the Packers top priorities. With the possibility of them getting their big contracts, it could leave less money for Finley.
If that is the case, Finley would have three options. First, he could do what other players have done and take less money. If he doesn’t want to do that, he could choose to leave Green Bay for another team. The third option would be a win-win for Finley and the Packers. If Finley wants a big contract from the Packers, he needs to step up his game and show the Packers front office that he is deserving of a big contract. The ball is in Finley’s court. He has to decide what he wants and what he will do to get it.