The NFL season has been over for a measly three days now but the Green Bay Packers season has been over for nearly a month. Things obviously slow down when teams aren’t preparing for games each week and the constant news hits dwindle.
Still, this has been a busy week for some Packers chatter and I thought I’d offer a break in between our player evaluation and reports cards here at allgbp.com and highlight a few of the stories that have been most widely discussed.
“Discussed” and “news” are two different things, but if nothing else, there are at least a few debate topics here.
The first was a story by NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling about tight end Jermichael Finley. Finley is currently a free agent after having spent the first six years of his NFL career with the Packers. Finley’s agent has gone on record as saying that J-Mike, as he is frequently called, would love nothing more than to finish his career in Green Bay. Whether that will happen is another thing.
Finley was seriously injured early in the 2013 season on a play in which he took a shot to his neck by Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. Finley was placed on season-ending injured reserve and needed surgery to fuse the C3 and C4 vertebrae in his neck. Many question swirled about whether Finley would play football again, let alone return to the Packers.
Finley stated earlier this week that he expects his doctors to clear him to resume football activity, most notably contact, within the next month or so. Gaining medical clearance from a doctor is one thing. Gaining that clearance from a NFL team doctor is another.
While Finley and his agent have expressed a preference to remain in Green Bay and get a new contract worked out, Finley has also stated that he does not plan to discount his services. With 19 total players set to hit free agency next month, the Packers are going to have some decisions to make as far as who to keep and at what price.
Finley certainly represents a risk, even if cleared to return to football. There can be no guarantee that he won’t re-injure his neck and such an occurrence would have major implications not only for Finley the football player, but also Finley the man, husband and father. It’s hard to say which direction Finley’s return and potential negotiations with interested teams will go.