Finley said this week that if he's back in Green Bay next season, great. If not, that's also great, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
Maybe Finley stays in Green Bay next season. Maybe he's moving on. On Thursday, he said it's "50/50" whether he will be in Green Bay next season.
"I would love to stay there," Finley said, "but if Green Bay says otherwise, I play football for a living, so I'd have to switch gears and get ready for another chapter in my life."
Finley is under contract for the 2013 season, but the Packers could try to trade or release the tight end. Finley is owed $8.75 million next season in the last year of his contract.
Finley, unlike some NFL players, understands the business component of the game:
"It's the nature of the business," Finley said. "If there's a guy that's overpaid or that they think is overpaid, they'll ask for a pay cut. There's no doubt that I want to be there for life. But it's a business and the business will tell you otherwise. I would say on the business front, it's 50/50. But if it was up to me or anybody in my circle, I would love to be back."
Dunne writes that a pay cut for Finley could be in the books. That would involve a contract extension, which might pay Finley less in 2013 but he'd be locked down for more years and more money.
Evan Western of Acme Packing Company thinks Finley will be back in 2013:
I'm not one who thinks that Finley is going to be released before the start of the season. Realistically, he showed enough down the stretch in 2013 that he's worth one final test here in 2013. If at that point the Packers don't feel like he's worth the money that he'll demand in free agency, then they can let him walk, but with Greg Jennings likely departing the team will need Finley's presence to help bust Cover-2 defenses.
Finley, 25, had a pretty standard year in 2012. He caught 61 passes for 667 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. The numbers dipped a bit from 2011 (767 receiving yards, eight touchdowns), but '12 is still one of his better years in the NFL.
If the Packers put Finley on the trading block, he'd most likely garner a lot of interest from tight end-deficient clubs. While he had seven drops last season, Finley is fairly sure-handed and one of the more athletic tight ends in the NFL. He'd fit a system -- somewhere.