On Thanksgiving we all gather with family and friends to take stock of the things we have to be thankful for. Many are thankful for health, family, friends and well being.
While these are great things to be thankful for, tight end Jermichael Finley should add one more thing to his list of things to be thankful for: Being a member of the Green Bay Packers.
Finley has made comments in the recent weeks that would make it appear that he does not appreciate being in Green Bay as much as he maybe should. He was even quoted in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interview as saying he didn't know if he would be back in Green Bay next season. Here is why that may not be the best thing for Finley:
Finley's agent made comments after Week 2 about Rodgers' lack of leadership ability. Finley's targets and catches have gone down since those comments were made. While they may not have the best of relationships, Finley needs to realize that he still has an elite quarterback leading his offense.
I think if Finley took a few minutes to talk to Tony Gonzalez about all the years he spent in Kansas City with average quarterbacks, Finley may have a better appreciation for the man currently leading his offense.
While Rodgers may not get Finley the number of targets that he would like, Finley can count on the targets that he does get to be right on the money. Getting more targets from the likes of Mark Sanchez, John Skelton, Blaine Gabbert or Matt Cassell can not possibly be more appealing to the 25-year-old tight end.
Green Bay Offense
While being the fourth option in the offense may not be ideal for a tight end trying to score his next big contract, Finley can take solace in the fact that there is very little pressure on him in the Packers' offense.
In an offense where Finley would be required to be one of the top targets, there would be much more pressure on Finley to perform and get the drops that have plagued him over the last few seasons under control. The Packers have made, nor been required to make many public comments about Finley's drop problems because there have been other offensive weapons to pick up the slack.
In another offense, like Cleveland for example, Finley might be viewed as the top target on the team. This would put much more pressure on Finley to perform and would extrapolate his drops, should they continue.
The City of Green Bay and the Fans
There is no better place for a developing player to play than on a small-market team.
There is less pressure for that player to perform right away, and the mistakes that that player makes are not as magnified and publicized in a small market the way that they would be on a bigger market team. That has never been more true than in the case of Jermichael Finley.
Finley came out of Texas as a highly touted, yet raw prospect.
His measurables were off the charts, but many prospects agreed that his route running and catching abilities would have to be developed. Finley was given that opportunity to develop in Green Bay without the pressure of having to perform right away.
Finley totaled just six catches his rookie season, while the coaching staff worked with him to further develop his skills.
If placed in the same situation in a larger market, that team may have been pressured to get their third-round draft choice out on the field sooner. Moving forward, there would have been much more scrutiny placed on Finley with the drops and miscues that he has had over his first few years in the league.
Despite having the highest percentage of drops in the league last year, Finley has met very little backlash from the Green Bay media or the fans.
While there have been the few that have spoken out on his troubles, Finley has not been met with much negativity. When compared to organizations like the New York Jets or Philadelphia Eagles, the Green Bay Packers' fans and media are relatively forgiving.
For all the negatives that Jermichael Finley is finding with his quarterback, his offense and his place in the organization, he may want to take a good hard look around the NFL and realize what his other options are.