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Finley franchise-tag fight still looms

Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

We reported during the season that the Packers and tight end Jermichael Finley eventually could find themselves in a fight regarding the question of whether, for the purposes of the franchise tag, Finley is a tight end or a wide receiver.

With the franchise tender for tight ends expected to be in the range of $5.4 million and the franchise tender for receivers expected to be in the range of $9.4 million, it’s a $4 million question.

The CBA doesn’t contain much guidance.  Article 9, Section 2(a)(i) states that the tender will apply to the position in which the player “participated in the most plays.”  The Packers undoubtedly would tender Finley as a tight end.  Finley then would be required to file a grievance challenging the designation.

And then the grievance will entail splitting hairs, on a play-by-play basis, regarding whether Finley was a tight end or a receiver.  Factors likely will include Finley’s location at the snap of the ball, whether he was in a two-point stance or a three-point stance, whether he was lined up in the backfield, whether he blocked or ran a pass pattern, and any other detail that would assist with the determination of whether he played as a tight end or as a receiver.

Of course, it will all be moot if Finley and the Packers work out a new deal.  There’s still time for that to happen before the Packers have to pick a franchise-tag fight that the franchise may not want.

Maybe they can get it done by throwing in a couple hundred shares of stock.

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50 Responses to “Finley franchise-tag fight still looms”
  1. gwahknows says: Feb 20, 2012 4:52 PM

    For starters, great attempt at humor there with the last line of the article. However, it was not funny. The Packers will sign Finley. He’s like 24 and could be a beast for the next 6 to 7 years. GET IT DONE TEDDY.

  2. touchdownroddywhite says: Feb 20, 2012 4:54 PM

    It shouldn’t come down to anything more than how many plays Finley reported as an eligible receiver. . .

  3. bobhk says: Feb 20, 2012 4:55 PM

    Maybe they can get it done by throwing in a couple hundred shares of stock.
    —————
    Good one :)

    I’m sure Finley would appreciate that he can put it up on his wall and he gets to vote at the shareholder meeting..

  4. sportsmeccabi says: Feb 20, 2012 4:57 PM

    He is neither a wide receiver or a tight end. He is a wide dropper.

  5. claymath52 says: Feb 20, 2012 4:57 PM

    Sounds messy…

  6. champion24 says: Feb 20, 2012 4:59 PM

    Dont receivers catch the ball?

  7. mrjnumber1 says: Feb 20, 2012 5:00 PM

    Of course, the Packers could argue that Finley can’t be a wide receiver, because he had so many drops. That’d make him a wide dropper.

  8. dboskie says: Feb 20, 2012 5:02 PM

    touchdownroddywhite says:
    Feb 20, 2012 4:54 PM
    It shouldn’t come down to anything more than how many plays Finley reported as an eligible receiver. . .

    ————————————————–
    Touchdown – That is a really bad take. Almost every tight end is an eligible receiver. You don’t see Tony G. or Gronkowski, or Graham designated as a wr. He is a tight end and that is it. How happy would Finley be if he missed out on a Pro Bowl bonus if he was designated as a wr and not a TE. Finley is really reaching on this one.

  9. possiblecabbage says: Feb 20, 2012 5:03 PM

    “It shouldn’t come down to anything more than how many plays Finley reported as an eligible receiver. . .”

    —-
    Short of running a set featuring multiple TEs on the same end of the line, the Tight End is always an eligible receiver.

    But honestly, this “fight” if it comes to that is really just a struggle for leverage in negotiating a longterm deal. The team establishes leverage in these negotiations by applying the franchise tag, the player’s representation attempts to win back leverage by contesting the tag. The way you’ll see this play out, most likely, is “Packers tag Finley as a TE, Finley files grievance, TPTB drag their feet in dealing with the grievance in hopes that Finley and the Packers can arrive at a mutually amicable deal on their own.”

    I mean, we should be familiar with a version of this dance after last offseason…

  10. jenniferxxx says: Feb 20, 2012 5:08 PM

    I’m not a Packer fan … but it’s obvious that he’s a TE.

  11. schmokes says: Feb 20, 2012 5:08 PM

    You guys have been pushing for this “fight” all season. Stop trying to stir up drama here. Finley has already come out and said he would be happy to play under the franchise tag. Whether he’s tagged as a TE or a WR will be decided through the grievance process. That doesn’t constitute a fight because it won’t be Finley vs. packers, it will be a 3rd party reviewing the tapes from the season. Non story.

  12. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Feb 20, 2012 5:12 PM

    With the shaky season he had he shouldn’t even be thinking of fighting the tag designation. His play wasn’t worth the 5.4M figure. When Terrell Suggs fought his LB tag arguing he played DE he had a legit argument because he PRODUCED. If Finley fights the tag designation I could see the Packers rescinding the tag and drafting his replacement

  13. countyk66ers says: Feb 20, 2012 5:18 PM

    With his drops last year the Packers are lucky that Finley isn’t trying to be franchised as a tackle.

  14. shadowgm1 says: Feb 20, 2012 5:19 PM

    Do Titletown a favor Ted. LET HIM GO.

  15. farvite says: Feb 20, 2012 5:19 PM

    They would tag and trade Flynn in a perfect world, but the cap didn’t go up enough.

    Wells is the guy they can’t afford to lose, and if they can’t get a deal done, I hope he’s tagged rather than allowing him to explore his options.

    .. So, as is the case on the field, Finley is the 3rd option. I won’t shed a tear if he’s not retained.

  16. nineroutsider says: Feb 20, 2012 5:19 PM

    I have seen enough Packer games to know he’s a TE. I’m sure everyone is pointing out his drops, but he is young and is/will be a beast. At WR $, no way but as a TE…they will be happy to pay that all day.

  17. greenbay4ever says: Feb 20, 2012 5:26 PM

    As many balls as he dropped last year I would be OK if they let him go. I think he is a beast but if you can’t catch when we need you to then it’s hard to make an impact.

    Life Long Packer fan.

  18. stairwayto7 says: Feb 20, 2012 5:29 PM

    Packers are falling apart! Get ready for an 8 win season cheeseheads!

  19. hnrqoliv says: Feb 20, 2012 5:34 PM

    touchdownroddywhite says:
    Feb 20, 2012 4:54 PM
    It shouldn’t come down to anything more than how many plays Finley reported as an eligible receiver. . .
    ——-
    Uhh, a tight end is eligible on every play. The only ineligible receivers are offensive linemen and the quarterback.

  20. wolfmanpackfan says: Feb 20, 2012 5:43 PM

    I believe some sports reporter already crunched the numbers on this – Finley was at about 53% snaps lined up as a traditional tight end, 47% in a 2 point stance or in the slot.

    Packer fans who complain about his drops, and think they should just let him go should remember this: Yes, they won the Super Bowl without him in 2010. But with him in 2011, the team went 15-1, Rodgers put up 46 TD’s to 6 INT’s, and their offense was the 2nd highest scoring offense in NFL history, behind the 2007 Patriots. I think Rodgers and McCarthy both want Finley back, and I do too.

  21. rikker12 says: Feb 20, 2012 5:44 PM

    Packers are falling apart! Get ready for an 8 win season cheeseheads!
    ————————————
    It’s obvious that you don’t watch any other teams out there than your steelheads…

  22. tomcous says: Feb 20, 2012 5:46 PM

    Best bet would be to decide now whether to sign him or not …

    I think the drops last year more of an aberation … the guy is a beast and I’d welcome him in Buffalo.

  23. bluestree says: Feb 20, 2012 5:53 PM

    Finley may be urged by his agent and other players to push the envelope and establish some parameters for this new group of big, athletic tight ends. If these types of guys continue to be all the rage, they’ll want to get paid.

  24. buckybadger says: Feb 20, 2012 5:58 PM

    greenbay4ever says:
    Feb 20, 2012 5:26 PM
    As many balls as he dropped last year I would be OK if they let him go. I think he is a beast but if you can’t catch when we need you to then it’s hard to make an impact.

    Life Long Packer fan.

    ————————-

    He had a pretty bad year by his standards but you just don’t let talent like this guy walk. He is only 24 and drops are something that can be corrected.

  25. buckybadger says: Feb 20, 2012 6:00 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Feb 20, 2012 5:29 PM
    Packers are falling apart! Get ready for an 8 win season cheeseheads!

    —————-

    Really? Why because a player that wasn’t even on the active roster when they won the Super Bowl may or may not be there. The Packers have the core of their team signed for years to come. They will dominate the NFC North for the next 8 to 10 years easy. They have the best QB, coach and GM in the division easy.

  26. buckybadger says: Feb 20, 2012 6:02 PM

    jenniferxxx says:
    Feb 20, 2012 5:08 PM
    I’m not a Packer fan … but it’s obvious that he’s a TE.
    ——

    I am a Packer fan I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we find out that Finley lined up in the slot more than he did in the backfield or tight against the line.

    It isn’t obvious at all. It isn’t like they use him as a blocker ever.

  27. deconjonesbitchslap says: Feb 20, 2012 6:02 PM

    Finley slowed that offense down. why in the world would they sign him? they won the superbowl without him, and his drops clearly frustrated Rodgers. He was even booed at home.

    and: he’s an blabbermouth moron.

  28. finley88thebeast says: Feb 20, 2012 6:10 PM

    for everyone on here dogging Finley for dropping passes give me a break he’s a beast. And the last packer game I recall watching I saw jordy nelson, Greg Jennings, James starks, and Finley dropping passes so I suppose we should let all of them go too. cause James Jones and randall Cobb as the number 1 & 2 recievers with dj Williams at t

  29. dlmcc1010 says: Feb 20, 2012 6:15 PM

    He lined up as a TE more than they had him line up as a WR. There is no way he will be designated a WR tag. He is a talented player but that team is loaded with offensive skill players. If it means cutting him or paying him WR money then hes going to wind up cut

  30. drschooney says: Feb 20, 2012 6:23 PM

    Packers are trying to locate Ron Kramer to bring him back

  31. tombradysponytail says: Feb 20, 2012 6:28 PM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Feb 20, 2012 5:29 PM
    Packers are falling apart! Get ready for an 8 win season cheeseheads!

    ———–

    Really? How’s Roethlisberger and Haley’s relationship progressing?

  32. farvite says: Feb 20, 2012 6:44 PM

    The only place Finley is a ‘beast’ is in Madden 2012.

    Unless you’re talking about his pass-catching ability, which in this case is lack thereof. That could be described as beastly.

  33. medtxpack says: Feb 20, 2012 6:47 PM

    work out a 3 year deal max that splits the difference. make it heavy on performance. if finley doesnt like it, and files against it, arbitration will side with the Pack as him being a TE. they have so many tight end responsibilities.

  34. mike5011ad says: Feb 20, 2012 6:53 PM

    for his career, averages 3 cathces, 38 yards per game……..Beastly????

  35. vikescry1 says: Feb 20, 2012 7:00 PM

    i’d like to kep finley but it has to be for the right price. he has to work harder on not dropping the ball so much. but he has showed some dominance in some games. bears last year 3td’s, but he has also shown that he can drop some passe’s. giants playoff loss? and a few other’s. bottom line is he has a lot of up side so if we can keep him we need to.

  36. jhm3 says: Feb 20, 2012 7:13 PM

    He would be the number one option for my skins :)

  37. mrslay1 says: Feb 20, 2012 7:47 PM

    Come on Man… The Packers are loaded at tight end. They have two guys that could take over and they wouldn’t miss a beat.

  38. emoney826 says: Feb 20, 2012 8:31 PM

    All of you saying to let him walk will be backtracking your words next year when he bounces back with a big year. There’s nothing that motivates a diva more than to doubt him. So go ahead and doubt the guy. Sure the Pack won without him but you can’t ignore the fact that he demands double coverage on every play, opening up more of those plays that made the packers 15-1 this year.

  39. smedley61 says: Feb 20, 2012 9:11 PM

    I’d say that right now he has the hands of an offensive tackle. Keyword being “offensive”.

  40. shadowgm1 says: Feb 20, 2012 10:03 PM

    wolfmanpackfan says:Feb 20, 2012 5:43 PM

    I believe some sports reporter already crunched the numbers on this – Finley was at about 53% snaps lined up as a traditional tight end, 47% in a 2 point stance or in the slot.

    Packer fans who complain about his drops, and think they should just let him go should remember this: Yes, they won the Super Bowl without him in 2010. But with him in 2011, the team went 15-1, Rodgers put up 46 TD’s to 6 INT’s, and their offense was the 2nd highest scoring offense in NFL history, behind the 2007 Patriots. I think Rodgers and McCarthy both want Finley back, and I do too.
    ———————————————————————

    I respect your viewpoint, but all those accolades now are moot. The goal wasn’t 15-1 and a first round bye, it was a repeat. Rodgers stats were not a happy result of anything Finley did, rather that he’s become quite adept at placing the ball in perfect positions (outside shoulder on Nelson’s outs), he’ll outposition the coverage given, not take what he is given. You want to take a look at something interesting, see how Chase Blackburn looked like an all-pro defending Finley in the divisional, and then contrast that to how Blackburn was toasted consistently by Davis. Both tight ends stretch the seam and do the same work. Finley is not close to elite and he harbors a lot of Moss’ patented “quit” in him. I don’t think management is willing to give him an easy pass on this season’s performance and I agree. McCarthy’s Good Ol’ Boys Club has more than it’s share of skeletons. If he had his way, they’d re-sign Grant again for more unearned money. Finley’s meltdown really took hold in the Chiefs game, and continued through the curtain call in the Divisional game. Time to cut bait now, my money is on him failing here on out. We haven’t even seen what’s under wraps with D.J. Williams yet.

  41. tmilla19 says: Feb 20, 2012 10:14 PM

    I’m a die hard Packer fan and here it is plain and simple. The guy is a head case who cannot keep his mouth shut. Let him walk. He is not worth the money or the mouth that comes with him. Not to mention the fact that they won a super bowl without him. The Packers need to keep money in the bank to pay Matthews and Raji next year. Let Mr. TO jr hit the pavement. BTW: Don’t care what other Packer fans think, they were probly the same one’s that booed Rodgers his first training camp and the fans that show up to lambeau in a #4 jersey that is half green and gold and half purple and yellow. Get a clue.

  42. thejuddstir says: Feb 20, 2012 10:20 PM

    Finley may be a physical speciman, he may be fast but one thing we know for fact, he has hands of stone. As for throwing in a couple hundred shares of stock…….let’s see if he’s as smart, or smarter than Packer fans.

  43. thraiderskin says: Feb 20, 2012 10:59 PM

    very inconsistent… I wouldn’t budge from the TE tag number and then consider drafting a couple tight ends in the 4th-5th round range.

  44. frozeninfear says: Feb 20, 2012 11:29 PM

    Let Finley go and negotiate a long term big money deal with a more deserving player, namely Clay Matthews.

  45. mrslay1 says: Feb 21, 2012 12:08 AM

    Why? The pack already has 2 other TE’s that could start for most NFL teams.

  46. packerstexansfan says: Feb 21, 2012 1:12 AM

    Lol at still trying to make a story out of this. It’s quite simple really. If he tries to make a case as a WR, he loses any leverage he has, because if you look at his numbers from that view, it would be a very disappointing year. As a TE, I could be wrong, but I think he was top 5. And that was even with all the drops last season. The seasons before he never had a problem, although he did only play 5 games I think in 2010; but he was going on a monster pace that year. So his drops can be fixed, and he’s hitting his prime years. I hope we resign him.

  47. packfaninchitown says: Feb 21, 2012 8:04 AM

    Future story:

    “Finley signs new contract today…and drops the pen…”

    Die hard Packer fan, I say sign this kid and give him a solid training camp to work on the drops. He’s worth it.

  48. acmepacker says: Feb 21, 2012 8:34 AM

    I hope we can keep Finley because he could be a beast, I think. The reports I’ve read claim he has great hands in practice but doesn’t carry that through at game time. That would be a head problem and if he can work through that we’d have a great TE. The question is, how much are we willing to invest in a maybe.

  49. dukemarc says: Feb 21, 2012 10:18 AM

    Maybe the Packers should offer him a WR deal that matches his production. What does 55 catches 767 yards 8 TDs and about a 10% drop rate get you these days about 2-3 Million?

  50. widogg says: Feb 21, 2012 12:56 PM

    you sure are salty about that stock sale. I’d sure be happier if my team was owned by some jackass like jerry jones or that loser in washington.

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