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Franchise-tag fight still looming for Finley, Packers

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The recent item by Bob McGinn from which Rosenthal gleaned the bad prognosis for Packers tight end Andrew Quarless contains a separate nugget regarding the team’s first-stringer at the position.

McGinn, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, writes that Jermichael Finley said there has been no progress toward a new contract, which would replace his soon-to-be-expiring rookie deal.

More specifically, Finley said there have been no talks.

We’ve actually heard that the two sides are talking on a roughly weekly basis, making some progress.  But not much.

If a new contract can’t be finalized, the Packers will have to use the franchise tag on Finley, if they hope to keep him from getting to the open market.

And that’s where the biggest potential fight between the two sides still lingers.  If/when the franchise tag is used, Finley’s camp most likely will claim that he’s a receiver, not a tight end.  The argument would be based on the number of plays in which Finley is lined up wide or in the slot at the snap, either via the initial alignment or after going in motion.

In the end, the issue will be resolved in low-tech fashion, by counting the number of plays in which he’s lined up tight against a tackle, the number of plays in which he’s lined up wide, and the number of plays in which he starts in the tight-end spot and goes in motion to the slot or wider.

It’s a rare hiccup for a team that is rolling toward a second straight Super Bowl win.  Still, the difference between the two tags is expected to be roughly $4 million for 2012.

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34 Responses to “Franchise-tag fight still looming for Finley, Packers”
  1. 2difshoe says: Dec 11, 2011 9:20 AM

    Tight end or wide receiver, who cares….send him to the Bears. We need reciever help….bad !

  2. chmba says: Dec 11, 2011 9:22 AM

    Another opportunity for Ted Thompson to screw up! He will probably screw it up to the maximum!

  3. techvet says: Dec 11, 2011 9:24 AM

    People complained when TT let Aaron Kampman leave. They’re not complainingn now, especially since AK is on IR again.

    Let’s see how this plays out.

  4. ditaksdika says: Dec 11, 2011 9:24 AM

    jmike, you need to stop dropping so many easy catches man. Your playing for a big payday…so catch the balls when they are thrown your way!

  5. mvpolamalu says: Dec 11, 2011 9:25 AM

    Just pay the man! Hes a beast, and now they have no depth since quarrels could be out all of 2012

  6. jcalton89 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:27 AM

    Lets be honest, J-Mike hasnt really had a great year, but he is weapon for Rodgers.

    He has made some pretty poor drops, but the packers need him so pay the man

  7. frankgarrett says: Dec 11, 2011 9:28 AM

    To bad for Viking fans . You’ll have to wait until he’s 40 to get him ..

  8. rondo1260 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:29 AM

    It’s a smart move to count WR snaps by the Finley camp. They should grab the maximum $$$ while they can. As Andrew Quarless now knows, it can all be over on any play.

  9. gbsparks says: Dec 11, 2011 9:31 AM

    Where’s the hiccup? This is stuff that won’t be negotiated until AFTER THE PACKERS WIN THEIR SECOND SB IN A ROW.

    Why not start musing now about Packer hiccups that might occur in 2015?

    Try to at least pay attention to the current season, okay?

  10. lilrob10201 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:31 AM

    Packers better hope they dont end up losing Finley.He is going to want a high contract because he has earned it.

  11. Cheesehead Ken says: Dec 11, 2011 9:40 AM

    Finley has said previously that he doesn’t care if he gets tagged, he just wants to be back with the Packers.

    And I understand he (and other tight ends) are split out wide more than TEs normally are, but my argument against him being paid as a WR is this: How many times has Jennings, Nelson and the rest been lined up tight to the tackle? It would seem to me that if traditional WRs are never lined up tight, you can’t call a player who is tight even only 40% of the time a WR.

  12. FinFan68 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:41 AM

    Sorry, I’m not buying the TE vs. WR argument. He was drafted as a TE, is listed as a TE and plays that position. That said, the guy is full of himself and is literally one of the dumbest players in the league. The packers have depth so they may be better off trading this guy. I see him becoming more of a problem down the road.

  13. 46defense says: Dec 11, 2011 9:45 AM

    Very similar to the Forte deal. He wants more than the market is dictating for him. He’s good, but not the best at his position. Him and Forte should prepare to either be franchised or to sign for less than they want.

    This is a business after all.

  14. roastbeefsandwich says: Dec 11, 2011 9:46 AM

    I could see them not using the tag. They performed very well without him last year, and he isn’t known for his blocking skills. There’s also been a ton of drops this year from him.

    Besides name recognition, I just don’t see him having THAT much value considering this is pretty much his first full season without a major injury.

  15. teal379 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:53 AM

    His case for a contract would be helped if he started to catch the ball – regardless of position he lined up.

    That’s all Packer fans and I suspect the front office wants to see from him, particularly over the next 2 months.

    I suspect the level of “work” that gets done on the contract will be connected to the percentage of receptions he makes vice times he’s targeted.

  16. houndog50 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:57 AM

    Should be no problem if Finley puts his money where his mouth is . If not let him walk before giving him big-big bucks, he’s done nothing to earn top 2 or 3 tight end money. Look at how Jordy has benefited from Jennings dbl teams, Taylor or Williams would be overlooked the same way.

  17. zbigern says: Dec 11, 2011 10:08 AM

    None to worry Packer fans. This is not a news story, it is an opinion by one writer. Even if Franchised as a TE Finley sees a $3 million pay raise. He can debate all he wants…me, personally I would use the tag on Scott Wells and let Finley go. We have drafted 3 TEs in 2 years for a reason…whoever said TT screwed up is, well, screwed up.

  18. calloustongue says: Dec 11, 2011 10:23 AM

    Finley said he is fine with being tagged, and no one but the media has said anything about being tagged as a WR. It’s not going to happen.

    They aren’t talking contract with him b/c they want to see if he can produce and stay healthy for an entire season. He’s ended up on IR the last two seasons, and before the Packers lock him up they need to know he possesses the key trait they look for in their skill players: availability.

    He won’t be the top paid TE, nor should he be, but he’ll get top 5 money. His numbers are pretty good but don’t tell the whole story, the guy commands two defenders every play.

  19. skimbell says: Dec 11, 2011 10:25 AM

    I can’t see the problem.
    What difference should it make if Finley is dropping balls as a TE or WR?

  20. briggsweatbird says: Dec 11, 2011 10:31 AM

    Finley does not fit the low key style of this Packer team. Remember who it was who complained about not being in the Super Bowl team photo? It was Burnett, now of the Bills, and Finley. Both of them bring attention to themselves with their antics on the field. Finley brings more attention to himself with his mouth off the field. Ultimately, Finley does not fit with this team. It is too much about him. Plus, he will likely want to be the highest payed tight end in the league – not something the Packers will be willing to accommodate. After next year, look for Finley to be wearing a different color jersey.

  21. imjinbrdgr says: Dec 11, 2011 10:35 AM

    chmba says: Dec 11, 2011 9:22 AM

    Another opportunity for Ted Thompson to screw up! He will probably screw it up to the maximum!
    Please forgive the above poster. His heart was broken when he lost his beloved Brett. He just can’t forgive the evil Ted Thompson even after Thompson built a Super bowl winning team that is now 12-0 and heading for another Championship. So while Favre sits and stews over the Packers success in Mississippi chmba cries himself to sleep every night in his parents basement.

  22. bsreimer says: Dec 11, 2011 10:44 AM

    Even though he drops a lot of passes, Defenses plan specifically for him to open up the rest of the field. I was in attendance (3rd tier) at Met Life Stadium, and it was obvious Fewell was scared of Jermike. No matter what it takes, Ted, PAY THE MAN.

    -Packer Fan displaced in NJ

  23. packfaninchitown says: Dec 11, 2011 10:53 AM

    They’ll get a deal done.

    Packer will three-peat after winning the SB this year and Finley wants to be part of that.

  24. howmanylumps says: Dec 11, 2011 10:56 AM

    @chmba….Man I agree. So sick of the way Ted Thompson has screwed it up to the maximum. Like the way he’s added all this depth without spending on high price free agents. And winning a Super Bowl, major screw up. And I’m so tired of the way every time there’s an injury at a key position there’s a replacement there ready to go. And the way he’s failed to replace Brett Favre, it’s pathetic. These last 18 games in a row the Packers have won are a clear sign of Thompson’s incompetence. Hopefully it’s not to late to bring back Mike Sherman and Brett Favre, so we can right this ship before its too late.

  25. kagger007 says: Dec 11, 2011 11:13 AM

    jcalton89 says:
    Dec 11, 2011 9:27 AM
    Lets be honest, J-Mike hasnt really had a great year, but he is weapon for Rodgers.

    He has made some pretty poor drops, but the packers need him so pay the man

    Finely’s worth isn’t just in numbers, but the coverage he draws. He frees up everyone else. There’s a reason you can’t double team Jennings and Nelson every pay, and his name is Jermichael Finely.

  26. rpiotr01 says: Dec 11, 2011 11:13 AM

    I’m a Packer fan and a Finley fan, but he is getting schooled right now by Graham and Gronkowski. He’s simply not the best of the best.

  27. imjinbrdgr says: Dec 11, 2011 11:38 AM

    rpiotr01 says: Dec 11, 2011 11:13 AM

    I’m a Packer fan and a Finley fan, but he is getting schooled right now by Graham and Gronkowski. He’s simply not the best of the best
    I agree those two are at a level above Finely right now. If he would stop with the drops he would close the gap a lot. One thing to consider is that those 2 don’t have the wide receiver corp to compete with that Finely does. But then nobody does.

  28. trapshoot says: Dec 11, 2011 11:44 AM

    Not nearly the player he was before he got hurt. His drops are not helping his prospect for a huge pay day and they’re certainly not helping the Pack. He is not the threat he once was.

  29. 1mge says: Dec 11, 2011 11:55 AM

    Dude is a great TE (3rd or 4th best in NFL)who drops 2 passes a game. YTD has 42 catch, 6 td, 550 yds on pace for 55 catch, 8 td, 750 yds & 16+ drops.

    If he wants WR franchise tag $$ until a contract is worked out then also give him a WR contract. What does a WR with those stats command in salary? Less than a top 3 TE for sure, can’t have it both ways!

    Smells like nothing more than a poker game to me!

  30. acdc84 says: Dec 11, 2011 2:17 PM

    His stats aren’t a true measure of his value, as defenses constantly roll a safety over the top of him to help out, opening up things for the other guys a bit. Nelson is having a break-out season cuz he’s seeing a ton of single coverage, due in no small part to Finley and Jennings seeing alot of attention.

    Worst case scenario, franchise him and find a trading partner. They showed last year they can win without him, and I’d imagine they could get a first round pick, while making sure he at least stays out of the division.

  31. stavreafavre says: Dec 11, 2011 3:38 PM

    Talented guy, hope he’s back, but really with him it’s always been more potential than anything. What about his numbers makes him more than a top five TE? WRs don’t get covered much of the time by LBs – give me a break.

  32. sfm073 says: Dec 11, 2011 5:06 PM

    The guy is overrated. He only has 3 Tds and 0 100 yd games. He’s killing my fantasy team.

  33. jagwar73 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:03 PM

    Let him walk. Rodgers could make almost any TE look good!

  34. my84cj7 says: Dec 12, 2011 12:28 AM

    3 Easy steps to a contract….

    1) Shut up.

    2) Catch the balls that are thrown to you.

    3) Give up the 13 year old girl social media addiction (Your supposedly a grown man (twitter))

    This team doesn’t “need” you, it only kinda wants you.

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