As it turns out, Jermichael Finley’s shout out to Dr. Mark Chmura came a day after Finley underwent surgery by Dr. Joseph Maroon.
Andrea Kremer of NFL Network reported Friday that Maroon performed the surgery on Thursday, and that Finley anticipated a 3-4 month recovery process.
The precise timing of his return to full health is fairly important to his financial future, because Finley will be a free agent in March. Two years ago, the Packers applied the tight end level of the franchise tag, Finley filed a grievance claiming that he took more snaps in 2011 at receiver, and the two sides worked out a two-year Band Aid deal.
With the deal expiring after Finley has spinal fusion surgery, the likelihood of another franchise tag is very, very low. Finley will have to prove that he’s healthy to get a new contract, and time will be of the essence.
The big money flows only in the early days of free agency, before quickly slowing to a trickle. For Finley, the big money likely won’t be there until 2015 at the earliest, after he shows via a one-year deal that he’s healthy and effective.
This all presumes that Finley eventually will be cleared to play again. For now, he’s confident he will be.