Packers face important decision on Jermichael Finley's future

Jamie Squire

Green Bay has a decision to make today regarding Jermichael Finley. If they leave him on the roster, he'll be getting a nice paycheck tomorrow.

Jermichael Finley has a roster bonus coming his way soon if the Packers choose to keep his status quo. Green Bay has until 4 p.m. today to release Finley. If he stays on past the deadline, he will receive an additional $3 million tomorrow.

The offseason began with rumors surrounding Finley's future with the team. Although the tight end publicly stated he wanted to remain with the team "forever," his contract continues to strain the salary cap in Green Bay. Finley is set to make $4.5 million in base salary for 2013. Along with the roster bonus, that's not exactly an appealing paycheck for the Packers to give a player with just two touchdowns last season.

With Greg Jennings and Tom Crabtree out of the picture, Finley's value to the Packers offense increases considerably. He did manage 61 receptions in 2012. Green Bay isn't devoid of playmakers, but Finley can still make a solid impact in the passing game.

Would he be willing to take a pay cut? No, that's not a route Finley wants to take. He made it clear restructuring an agreeable deal for both sides could be in the cards, but the whole pay cut thing isn't his game.

Restructuring makes sense, but the Packers may not want to keep Finley around past 2013. Hitting the open market wouldn't be beneficial for Finley's finances. Reports of the tight end being selfish and having a poor work ethic, not to mention his inconsistent play, hurt his value.

The Packers are not open about their intentions. We haven't seen any recent developments with Finley. They may choose to deal with his lofty cap hit for 2013. Don't expect the same type of contract for him next offseason, though.

We'll see what Green Bay chooses to do this afternoon. Cutting Finley creates an immediate need in the offense. Fred Davis may be the only free agent left who could provide the same production right away. There aren't many alternatives.

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