One of the more important deadlines of this offseason came and went for the Green Bay Packers yesterday. 4:00 PM Eastern Time on Monday was the start of the 15th day of the league year, when tight end Jermichael Finley was owed a $3 million roster bonus; to leave him on the roster through that deadline would have been a sign that Finley would be a member of the Packers in the 2013 season, as cutting him would have a massive negative impact on the salary cap.
Well, that's exactly what happened. The Packers did not restructure Finley's deal and they did not release him, which ensures that he will stay a Packer for the upcoming season. Finley actually tweeted this news out himself yesterday afternoon:
Ecstatic 2 b back w @packers. Best place on earth. Thank u 2 my agents & family @blakebaratz @jhart5266. I appreciate all that u do. #pack— Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88) March 25, 2013
Finley will be challenged to step up this season and justify the $8.25 million he will cost against the salary cap. Depending on how the first round of the draft shakes out, I still could see the Packers drafting Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame to be a successor to Finley and letting him walk next season, but we'll have to wait about a month to see if that plan comes to fruition. I just hope the suppposed "chemistry issues" that have surfaced over the past few years between Finley and Rodgers will truly be a thing of the past to the talented target can be an effective and consistent downfield weapon.