With all of the offseason talk surrounding this team, I think that one of the major issues to address is the Packers' chances of keeping Jermichael Finley. He has been a hot button topic throughout his career in the Green and Gold, and has been as up-and-down as they come. Personally, I have had moments when I considered him my least favorite player on the team, as well as moments that blow me away with amazement. When we first had drafted Finley, I was ready for him to contribute and become one of the more athletic and productive tight ends in the game. I was a big fan, and considered him a secret weapon of sorts. He lived up to the athletic portion, but his effort and focus in the last couple of years have caused fans to question his contract and position on the team.
Coming into this season, I was pleasantly surprised by his maturity and growth as a player. He seemed to be over the drops and "headcase" issues of the past, and ready to fill his role. I was just becoming sold on Finley as a keeper and necessary focal point of this offense when he went down. It was a dramatic and terrible injury, and was painful to see him out for the year. The offense never really recovered without him, especially with Rodgers out as long as he was. The Tight End position in particular was always a question mark.
Going into this offseason with his future with the team uncertain, I was looking to get thoughts on Finley. Unfortunately, with the extent of the injury, it is hard to see Finley back in some cases. Nick Collins was put into a similar position with his injury suffered in Carolina a couple years back. The Packers did not see him back, and he has since retired. We miss you Nick!
The free agents and draft products available would suggest that it will not be that hard to replace Finley. The Tight Ends on the roster currently, including free agent to be Quarless, do not inspire much in terms of production. No matter what the Packers decision on Finley may be, it will be an unlikely scenario that there is not a good deal of change at the position.
I would like to see Finley back if he is in fact healthy. The issue is that the Packers are likely to be very conservative with the injury, and rightly so. I am on the fence about bringing back a player with such a severe neck/spinal chord injury, but if truly heatlhy, would love to see him back and scoring TD's for the Pack.
Feel free to comment back and share your thoughts! Go Pack Go!