Make no mistake. Jermichael Finley
is a good tight end. But, is he a good fit for the Green Bay Packers
? I would argue no. And here's why. At the beginning of 2010, Finley was turning heads around the league. He had emerged as Aaron Rodgers' favorite target and the inevitable comparisons to the great tight ends of the league like Tony Gonzalez were rampant. Rodgers was barely even throwing to anyone else. Then the unthinkable happened. Finley was out for the season which left the league wondering if the Packers weren't done for after the earlier loss of Grant. But then something magical happened, A-Rod discovered that he had at least 5 other targets that he could throw to with confidence, and the rest, as they say, is history. Fast forward to the beginning of this season. The Pack was riding higher than they possibly ever had. The newly crowned champs were bringing back the majority of their team and coaching staff (Thank you lock out!!!) and on top of that, they were bringing in the equivalent of 2 very high profile free agents in the form of Grant and Finley coming back from their injuries. As fans, we couldn't have asked for a better scenario to repeat. (Except for that little issue of losing Cullen Jenkins. Still hurts.) But the sky really did seem like it was the limit. There were some lingering questions however. How were the Packers going to fit Finley back into the game plan? Would Rodgers go back to throwing every other ball to him? Would that kill the momentum from last season? After Finley's performance against the Bears
in week three, 3 TDs, 7 catches, 85 yds, the hope of keeping the winning formula was starting to fade. Finley treated us to our first YOTTO touchdown dance and it was widely reported that Finley had aspirations of becoming the highest paid TE in the league. It was becoming painfully apparent to us as fans that Finley was all about Finley and that sounded a lot less like a Packer and a lot more like an Eagle. But thankfully, that's where the Finley-centric offense stopped. The following week, Rodgers went right back to spreading the ball around and "hitting the open man." And true-to-form, the complaints from Finley came pouring in. So Finley wants to get PAID. Well, let's see if that is warranted. Finley currently is in the top five in one single glaring statistical category......DROPS. He has 8! This one statistic alone, I believe, warrants letting him go. But, maybe he makes up for it in other areas. Let's start with receptions. 17 tight ends have more than he does. 17! What about yards? Maybe he gets more yards. Okay, a little better, but still not in the top ten. What about YAC? Something the Packers offense pride's itself on. He averages 4. The Gronk is almost double that. Finley finally cracks the top ten in 1st downs and TDs, but take away that one good game he had in Chicago and he almost falls off the list. There's no consistency there. These are the numbers of a middling TE and not a premier guy. I know he's coming off an injury but he didn't break his hands! The talking heads still laude his "good hands" and it makes me crazy. Are they even watching him play? So my point is this, Finley, while not a bad tight end, is not worth locking him up to a long term, high end deal. I believe he is replaceable and if he can't catch passes from potentially the most acurate passer in the history of the game, they probably need to go look for someone who can. I really hope with Jennings out the last few games, Rodgers does not continue to trust Finley. That INT in the endzone last week was 100% on him! Let Finley block, and chip, and draw defenders, but PLEASE! Throw the ball to someone, anyone, else!!!
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