Packers tight end Jermichael Finley’s plan for the coming season is to stop fretting and start performing.
After a subpar contract year that resulted in a short-term deal that pays him well but defers a truly big payday until he shows more consistency, Finley isn’t thinking about the future.
Instead, he reiterates to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Finley’s personal T-shirt slogan for the coming season: “freestyling.”
“Just go out and let loose,” Finley explained. “Don’t worry about anything.”
In the past, the worrying possibly has translated into untimely drops, as Finley may have at times obsessed over the connection between getting the job done and getting paid a lot of money to keep doing it.
If that’s what he had been doing, he won’t be doing it any more.
“It’s all about letting loose and just playing my game,” Finley said. “Go back to high school a little bit and have fun with it now. Leave the NFL for what it is.
“Obviously, the NFL is paying us for what we do. You have to take it for what it is, man. I say, ‘Go back and have fun like I was in high school.’”
It also sounds like Finley, who has been relatively quiet in relation to his initial NFL years, is going to revert to his past loquaciousness.
“When you’re trying to switch yourself up for somebody else, you’re not living,” Finley said. “You’re not living your life. You’re not comfortable in yourself. Doing what I do, playing football, you have to be yourself.”
That could create some issues, if Finley is candid about things about which the team would prefer he not be candid. But the team may have to accept that — and they may be willing to do it — if it means that Finley will be more productive on the field.
Finley also plans to spend three days in California after an upcoming minicamp working out with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, which should help address Finley’s concern that there was a lack of chemistry with Rodgers in 2011.
But if Finley “freestyles” too much, either with his play or with his words, the chemistry with Rodgers could be affected in a different way.