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.