The Packers and tight end Jermichael Finley avoided a potentially contentious franchise-tag fight regarding Finley’ classification with a two-year contract that pays the player well — but also gives him an incentive to step up his game to a higher level.
Through five games in 2012, Finley has yet to find the higher level, catching 22 passes for 198 yards and one touchdown. Complicating the situation are his ongoing public gripes about a lack of chemistry with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Given that Rodgers is going nowhere, the chances of Finley being back next year are dropping by the day.
Finley is due to receive a $4.45 million roster bonus on the 15th day of the 2013 league year. Though not a gigantic investment, it forces the Packers to make an early decision on Finley next year.
There’s a chance that, for some in the organization, the decision already has been made. If so, Finley has 11 games to change their minds.