Time's Up for the Packers and Finley Plus More NFC North News

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 23: Jermichael Finley #88 of the Green Bay Packers cannot get a hold of the ball as Jason McCourty #30 of the Tennessee Titans defends at Lambeau Field on December 23, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn /Getty Images)
Tom Lynn/Getty Images

Is this the beginning of the end for the Packers-Finley Bromance?

Since Finley is telling ESPN's Josina Anderson they aren't talking to him, he wouldn't take a pay cut and might consider a restructured deal but maybe not—well, it sure looks like it.

Of course, this has been a long time coming and no real tragedy.

Without a doubt, Finley is a player who has a tremendous amount of upside. We've seen flashes of it, but not consistently and certainly not since his season-ending injury in 2010.

He drops too many balls, is at times completely uninterested in blocking and has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth regarding his own team (and has an agent who does it).

He makes amazing catches, is a huge mismatch and is an athletic freak.

Which guy is the one you're paying? And how much do you pay him?

This is the disconnect between the Packers' front office and Finley. I say the front office, because the coaches—specifically Mike McCarthy—seem to want him back whatever it takes.

Finley is set to make $8.25 million this year, and in the eyes of the front office—and my own to be completely honest—he's not worth that. If he were cut tomorrow, I don't know he makes that money anywhere else.

Right now, if you look at the average salaries of tight ends in the league, Finley is third. He's behind Vernon Davis and Jason Witten, just ahead of Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Antonio Gates.

Is his production in the same class? (sidenote: Zach Miller and Marcedes Lewis are right up there which is a complete travesty).

The Packers can easily grab one of the top tight ends in the draft at pick #26 and quite possible get the same production with 50 percent less attitude.

Once upon a time, Finley looked like one of the next great tight ends. That never materialized. Maybe it will and maybe it won't, but one thing is for sure—the Packers need to stop paying top dollar for potential rather than production.

On to the rest of the NFC North.


Chicago Bears

First, in case you missed it, I got to interview Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune on Monday from the combine. Enjoy the video.

If you had your doubts about tackle J'Marcus Webb, you probably weren't happy to hear about his recent arrest for drug possession. Sean Jensen and Adam Jahns have the story at the Sun-Times.

The charges have since been dropped, according to Michael Wright at ESPN Chicago.

Meanwhile Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago says the Bears will go after Henry Melton in free agency.


Detroit Lions

I was interviewed by Lance Zierlein of the Sideline View about the Lions, the draft and more. Check it out below.

Anwar Richardson of MLive.com says that some of the players on the offensive line have a lot to prove this year.

Free Press writer Kirkland Crawford tracks who people are mocking to the Lions at No. 5 overall.


Green Bay Packers

Credit to CheeseheadTV.com and Bleacher Report writer Brian Carriveau who first came across a clue that John Jolly might be reinstated.

This was confirmed by the league later on, and you can check out more coverage about it at the Journal-Sentinel in this piece by Tom Silverstein.

The Journal-Sentienl's Bob Wolfey talked to former GM Bill Polian about the Packers' needs this offseason.


Minnesota Vikings

The Star Tribune's Jean Hopfenseperger says the plans for financing the new stadium with charitable gambling is not working out.

Dan Wiederer of the Tribune gives you 12 names fans should know as the team quests for a receiver (or three). 


Check out the B/R NFC North Facebook page. Like us and keep up with everything NFC North on Bleacher Report! Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda