Packers, Finley work out two-year contract

AP

With a potential franchise-tag fight over whether he’s a tight end or a receiver looming, Jermichael Finley and the Packers have come to terms on a new contract.

According to a league source, a two-year deal was finalized on Wednesday.  The contract has a total value of just under $15 million.

The average value of the deal — $7.5 million — roughly splits the difference between the tight end franchise tender of $5.4 million and the receiver franchise tender of $9.4 million.  And it gives Finley another crack at the open market in 2014, when the new TV money will have kicked in and driven up the salary cap.

In light of the new contract, the question of whether Finley is a tight end or a receiver won’t be as significant the next time Finley is due to hit the market.  Based on the 2013 cap number in Finley’s deal, a 120-percent increase would put the tender for Finley over $10 million.

The deal also gives the Packers protection against the possibility that Finley’s potential never will fully be fulfilled, due either to injuries or ineffectiveness.  Though Finley enjoyed the best season of his career in 2011, he generated only 767 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, and he has no Pro Bowl appearances.

But his unique skills create matchup problems.  Too fast to cover with a linebacker and too large to cover with a defensive back, Finley could have the same impact as Rob Gronkowski, if/when Finley puts it all together.

If Finley can do it in the next two years, he’ll be on the verge of free agency again — at a time when Gronkowski will either have been re-signed by the Patriots or limited by the franchise tag.

UPDATE 8:35 p.m. ET:  Finley confirms the deal on Twitter.  “It’s TRUE!” he writes.  “Thank you so much to the Packers organization, all of my fans, and my beautiful wife.”

58 responses to “Packers, Finley work out two-year contract

  1. This contract would have been reported a couple minutes ago. However, Jermichael dropped the pen a couple times before he finally signed it.

  2. haha. You guys have been pushing “fight” between Finley and the Packers for months. And now when they agree to a contract, you still mention the “potential fight” that was looming….you guys are pathetic.

  3. Interesting GB went for a 2 year extension. Would think they’d want at least 3 years. Length alone makes this a great deal for Finley. He’ll be a UFA again at age 26 in the teeth of an off-season when the salary cap – and salary floor – are set to explode.

  4. 2 years is about right. Hopefully the deal is heavy the first year so if things go downhill it’s not a huge cap hit.

    Always good to get those deals done and over.

  5. Jermichael is 24. You all act like this guy will never make it in the league because he had 1 bad season. He will be great for the Packers. Go Pack.

  6. It’s a fair deal. Finley gets his money, and the Packers are not on the hook long term if he is a problem.

    I hate the drops, but remember how long the Packers struggled to get a TE that was any kind of deep threat in recent years. Basically the Pack had a couple years of Jackie Harris, and 1.5 with an older Keith Jackson.

    In the NFL you are going to pay 4-5M for a TE that catches 45 passes for 500 yards and a couple TDs. The alternatives are pay more for someone that can contribute more, or consistently churn young guys hoping to find a guy that’s a bargain. While you are burning through those young guys you’ll run through a lot of David Martins that seem to have the tools, but can only deliver 25 catches for 300 yards.

  7. At least the end is near. D.J. Williams needs another season or so to overtake Mr. Brickpalms here. What good is being too fast for a cover linebacker when you can’t catch? I’m fine with it, but I seriously could have taken or left him, he’s not as pivotal to this offense as people think.

  8. Good move by the Packers. Yes, he’s not Gronk or Graham, but that could be said about every TE not named Gronk or Graham. He’s a big, fast TE who creates matchup nightmares, and if you don’t have one of those in the NFL these days, you’re dead in the water. They need him, drops and all.

  9. Don’t franchise flynn! Let my phins pick him up in free agency! I doubt anyone will be willing to give him the avg of the top 5 QBs plus a first and 3rd rounder.

  10. 2 years for a very young player, who supposedly has all the talent in the world?

    this merely means: we’ll give you one more year here, then we’ll trade you next year for higher pick if you keep dropping passes.

    i’ve never heard of a “young, rare talent” getting a 2 year deal.

    either the packers got lucky by not having to commit to a 6 to 8 year deal so they can save their franchise tag on Wells or Flynn, or they just don’t trust the guy.

  11. They wasted some money here. DJ Williams is ready now to do at least as good and only going to get better. That will not happen till he gets in the games and gets experence. He could already be a force in the league with some other team. I don’t understand this move.

  12. 2 year contracts are ideal for anyone who is not an already established “elite” QB.

    I’m sure Rodgers is happy.

  13. “Finley could have the same impact as Rob Gronkowski,”

    You mean dancing shirtless after choking in big games?

  14. So he creates matchup problems eh? Jake Ballard of the Giants, not exactly a burner, had 160 less yards receiving and 4 less touchdowns in 2 less games and this was his first real year of playing.

  15. Nice… No more listening to Paul Allen (voice of the Vikings) drool over the radio about how good a move it would be for the Vikings to go after Finley. Not this time suckers!

  16. Franchising Flynn is a terrible idea becaue there’s no guarantee of angood return for him. Then you have a bckup QB making more money than the league MVP. Yeah that will go over well.

  17. schmokes says:
    Feb 22, 2012 8:21 PM
    haha. You guys have been pushing “fight” between Finley and the Packers for months. And now when they agree to a contract, you still mention the “potential fight” that was looming….you guys are pathetic.

    Probably because Finley opened his mouth and complained week after week with little production to show for it. A two year contract for a guy basically just entering his prime? You don’t think there was anamosity at all. People would be pathetic to think otherwise. This contract is a back handed compliment. I still predict he will be traded. Honestly I hope he does!

  18. Outstanding, if the Packer’s didn’t have Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, standout rookie Randall Cobb, TE deep with Crabtree, D.J Williams, and Ryan Taylor…..who is going to get 100 balls? Really….I’ll take 50 to 75 for each and watch defensive backs take a beating all day long.

    Nice Job Packer’s front office a beautiful thing when you have no greedy, or egotistical owner getting emotional and making bad calls. This was a great business decision in the best immediate interest of The Green Bay Packer’s.

    Probably the only way a non-major metropolitan city could have an elite NFL team and Facility? Come watch a game and you and who ever you come with are in for a treat! You can take that to the bank just like Finley! He will get nothing but better by the way.

  19. brewcrewfan54 says:Feb 22, 2012 10:55 PM

    Franchising Flynn is a terrible idea becaue there’s no guarantee of angood return for him. Then you have a bckup QB making more money than the league MVP. Yeah that will go over well.
    —-
    If a underlying deal were to be imminent, franchising Flynn is brilliant. To be the best you have to think like the best son. You have to think like a chess player. Not a checkers player.

  20. So how much money do you think Flynn will make because of that fluke game he had week 17?
    That must be one of the most profitable games ever played by a football player.

  21. Good move by the Packers. Yes, he’s not Gronk or Graham, but that could be said about every TE not named Gronk or Graham. He’s a big, fast TE who creates matchup nightmares, and if you don’t have one of those in the NFL these days, you’re dead in the water. They need him, drops and all.

    ———————————————–
    While I tend to agree that a big, fast TE is a great asset, you aren’t dead in the water without one. Don’t need to look too far back to find a champion that didn’t have one.

  22. Franchising Flynn is NOT a terrible idea. The only necessary movement in order to make it work is that Clifton and Driver would either have to be cut or accept smaller contracts.

    Given that both of them will be making a lot more money than they deserve, this is a move we should be doing anyway.

    That allows TT to tag Flynn and trade him. What’s the worst that could happen? We could a 4th rounder instead of a 2nd or 3rd? It’s still better than letting him walk.

  23. Franchising wells is an even worse idea since it would cost us over $8 million. No way TT will pay that to somebody who doesn’t even want to be there.

  24. This kid is a stud. He still hasnt fully shown to anyone outside of the packers coaches what he can do. They know what they have. Now its time to show the world. Colts fan out

  25. Yes Finley does create matchup problems. Ballard is good, but I don’t recall the Giants splitting him wide at the goalline to go 1:1 with a CB, which is probably Finley’s biggest asset.

    Ballard is also actually older than Finley.

    On the plus side, Ballard doesn’t have as big a mouth as Finley.

  26. @claymath52

    I haven’t listened to PA in a while, but all that talk kind of surprises me. I think Rudolph is going to surprise some folks this year, and the Vikes will be in good hands at TE. They have many, many more pressing needs than TE to fill. Rudolph performed admirably this past season in a limited rookie role, especially with the unsettled QB situation. Unlike Finley, the guy catches everything thrown his way, he had some amazing one-handed grabs this past season. Let Shiancoe go, and give Rudolph the extra targets (plus, he’s a better blocker) I know I’ll be ripped for this…but the Vikes have got a mini-Gronk in the making.

  27. If I was the Pack, I would franchise NOBODY. None of the remaining free agents are worth what you would have to pay them.
    Resigning Finley is a good move although I’m not a big fan of 2 year deals…we’ll have to go through this again too soon.

  28. This is a good move. They won 15 games so why throw the baby out with the bath water. Stand pat and work on getting the outside pass rusher needed to play opposite Matthews. The playoff game “hail Mary” clearly illustrated that.

  29. garyman1 says:Feb 23, 2012 7:16 AM

    If I was the Pack, I would franchise NOBODY. None of the remaining free agents are worth what you would have to pay them.
    Resigning Finley is a good move although I’m not a big fan of 2 year deals…we’ll have to go through this again too soon.
    ________________________________________________

    You may not be too far off. They technically could agree with most of the major free agents now that dimwit here is out of the way. Wells could cause a bit of trouble, but he knows he already plays for a champ caliber squad and Spitz is long gone. It is, however, transition year to get a new young center in and show him the ropes. They could also agree to a one year deal with Flynn which is trade friendly, then deal him (would generate more interest for the Dolphins, Redskins or whomever if it means an exclusive negotiating deal vs. a free agent free for all – get the agent involved and assured they get the money they want and it can be done). Even between $8 or $12 million which is still under Rodgers’ $13 mil (through 2014). Trade Flynn to a team to further negotiate an extended contract with incentives – Thompson is happy because he controls the destination to anywhere but the NFL’s “black hole” in Minnesota which seems to be a real peeve for him (like it or not, they have a solid QB in Ponder but never seem to be satisfied and would maybe take a shot with a healthier cap number following the release of Steve Hutchinson and restructuring to make a run at him); Flynn gets a starting gig and guarantees. The tag is nice to talk about, but may not really be needed for either Flynn or Wells. Then restructure Driver, Clifton still has leverage due to Sherrod’s hideous leg injury but may be willing to restructure to get another shot at the top of the heap next season. Everyone else up for FA is better off leaving, so really it’s just down to two key players in Flynn and Wells.

    As far as Finley, I highly doubt we will be going through this again. He could be gone ambitiously as early as the draft in April or as late as preseason 2013. Either way, mandate WILL be finding it’s way downstairs for McCarthy to stop using Finley exclusively and start involving Williams and Taylor more in the system.

  30. purplecrowe says:
    Feb 23, 2012 6:58 AM
    @claymath52

    I haven’t listened to PA in a while, but all that talk kind of surprises me. I think Rudolph is going to surprise some folks this year, and the Vikes will be in good hands at TE. They have many, many more pressing needs than TE to fill. Rudolph performed admirably this past season in a limited rookie role, especially with the unsettled QB situation. Unlike Finley, the guy catches everything thrown his way, he had some amazing one-handed grabs this past season. Let Shiancoe go, and give Rudolph the extra targets (plus, he’s a better blocker) I know I’ll be ripped for this…but the Vikes have got a mini-Gronk in the making.

    __________________________________

    Don’t worry. I will nominate you for Common Man’s proposterus statement contest…. 🙂

  31. Actually, I’m with purplecrowe on the Rudolph sentiment. He is going to be a pain in the Green and Gold’s side for as long as they don’t screw up his contract. I could see Allen’s pompous windbag waxing philosophic on Finley to Minny in 2010, maybe 2011 up until Rudolph played. Also as a fellow Packer fan, I’m amused at the disregard for Ponder’s talent within our fanbase. Second best QB in the draft last season to Locker. Count on it.

  32. love the 2009 version of Finley, the cris carter camp attending never drop a pass Finley…. That Finley > 2011 allergic to 3rd down plays finley.

    Let’s trade James Jones to the rams/browns, let driver retire a packer, make cobb the no.3, promote Tori up to the main roster, keep this train moving.

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