Bob McGinn is reporting that the Packers plan to release tight end Jermichael Finley after the 2012 season.
Finley was drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft as a third-year sophomore from the University of Texas. He exploded onto the scene towards the end of the 2009 season, including perhaps the best game of his career against the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs.
But since suffering a season-ending knee injury in the fifth game of the 2010 season, Finley has yet to return to that same form.
In the past 29 games, Finley has caught 98 passes–an average of 3.4 receptions per game. Pro Football Focus has charged Finley with 23 drops over that same timespan.
The Packers re-signed Finley to a two-year contract extension prior to this season. However, it appears the team may go in another direction at tight end once the offseason rolls around.
“If the Packers cannot find a trade partner, they are prepared to release Finley because of financial, competitive and behavioral reasons.
There is no way the Packers will pick up the second half of the two-year, $14 million contract they gave Finley in late February, according to sources.
Finley hasn’t performed anywhere near the sixth-best tight end in the National Football League, which is where he ranks in average salary per year at $7 million.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel