Jermichael Finley: Why the Green Bay Packers Need to Drop the Troubled Tight End
It’s been called the "Packer Way"—the manner in which Green Bay players carry themselves on and off the field. It starts at the top with Ted Thompson, Mark Murphy and Mike McCarthy. It is then revealed on the field by a talented group of veteran leaders such as Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews.
Players don't often stray away from the "Packer Way," but if you don’t “buy in,” Thompson won’t hesitate to send you packing. Just ask Javon Walker. He didn't “buy in” and was sent to Denver during the 2006 NFL Draft for a second-round pick despite being the Packers’ leading receiver the previous season.
Jermichael Finley hasn’t bought into the "Packer Way." On the field, he continues to drop passes. Off the field, he continues to publicly chastise his MVP quarterback for not getting him the ball enough.
With the deepest group of pass-catchers in the league at his disposal, Rodgers spreads the ball around liberally. Receivers are expected to make the most of the passes they get. Finley hasn’t done that.
The Packers, at 3-3, can’t afford to lose focus.
If the Packers are serious about winning another Super Bowl, Finley has to be sold to the highest bidder.
He has more value outside the organization than inside. Big, athletic tight ends are a valuable asset in today’s NFL. A player like Finley could theoretically take an offense from good to great. He has all of the physical tools to do so.
What should the Packers do with Jermichael Finley?
The problem for Finley seems to be between his ears. His focus isn’t where it was in 2010, and the locker room continues to suffer from his loud mouth.
It’s unclear what the Packers could get in a trade for Finley. His recent struggles could decrease his value, but Finley’s massive potential would likely bring a solid draft pick or two.
The Packers have the depth at tight end to move on from Finley. Tom Crabtree and D.J. Williams have proven they can play. The offense would have little trouble scoring in his absence. Last Sunday, Rodgers threw six touchdown passes, none to Finley.
If Finley doesn’t turn things around this week against the St. Louis Rams, expect Ted Thompson to make some calls to other teams who might be in the market for a big tight end.
On the other hand, if Finley wants to stay in Green Bay, all he would have to do is two simple things: Catch the passes thrown his way and keep his mouth shut.
After all, it’s the "Packer Way."
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