So, it's not unusual for Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley to vocalize whatever's in his mind at a given moment. Especially when microphones and tape recorders are involved. In this sense, then, it's not shocking when Finley, speaking with Josina Anderson of ESPN on Wednesday, said he wouldn't take a pay cut if the Packers were to ask.
It should be noted that Green Bay hasn't yet inquired about such things. Finley told Anderson the team is "barely" speaking with him at the moment.
Here, from the report, are his specific thoughts on his deal with the Packers right now:
"I'd have to walk for sure, meaning I couldn't take a pay cut. Maybe I'd restructure if it's a deal that I like and it makes sense, but I'm not the guy that's just going to sign anything and let anything pass. I'm not that guy. Other than that, taking a pay cut or restructuring doesn't sound good to me at this time. I like my deal."
Finley is entering the final year of a two-year, $14 million contract, which Green Bay offered as a sort of relatively inexpensive, short-term proving ground before having to decide whether or not to offer the talented yet inconsistent tight end a longer, more lucrative deal -- though, as ESPN's Kevin Seifert points out, Finley's contract against the salary cap is still the team's third-highest in 2013. On March 27, Finley is owed a $3 million roster bonus and the report notes that the Packers could wipe $8.25 million off their books by parting ways with him.
Green Bay is in the midst of an offseason of payroll slashing, with safety Charles Woodson already gone and soon-to-be free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings possibly following suit (unless the Packers franchise tag him), so it wouldn't be a surprise to see the team release Finley in the name of cost-consciousness.
On the flip side, though, if Green Bay has any belief in Finley's potential, one could hope his contract year would be the season in which he makes his move up the ladder of NFL tight ends. Whether or not they ask him to take a pay cut with a year left on a deal they offered just over a year ago remains to be seen. From Finley's perspective, it's hard to argue with not making a potential sacrifice -- a completely speculative one at this point -- to a team right now, when they may not keep him around after the season anyway.
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