The past eight months haven't been too easy for tight end Jermichael Finley. He's suffered a concussion, a major neck injury and now is fighting an uphill battle this offseason to get signed by an NFL team.
However, Finley received some good news earlier in the week. He has officially been cleared by his own doctors, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Finley still needs to be cleared by team doctors wherever he wants to sign but at least he's taking a step in the right direction.
What was surprising around all this news was how quiet the Packers have been about it. Just a few weeks ago head coach Mike McCarthy said, "In my mind, he's a Green Bay Packer." However, there were no reports from the Packers stating how they were ready to test Finley and get him back on the football field.
The reason for this is that the Packers realize that Finley is more of a commodity than a necessity at this point.
Would it be nice for Green Bay to be the place where Finley plays next year? Sure, but is it necessary? Absolutely not.
Take a look below at the current group of tight ends the Packers have on their roster, according to Ourlads.com's depth chart:
|Current Tight Ends in Green Bay|
|Name||Years in League|
While none of those players currently are what Finley was last year, there is still plenty to like about this group. For starters, both Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick played well when Finley got injured last year. The two combined to have 39 receptions, 432 yards and three touchdowns last year.
The real reason, however, the Packers should be excited about their current group of tight ends is because of the rookies, specifically Richard Rodgers and Colt Lyerla. Both Rodgers and Lyerla have a ways to go before they're ready to be every-down players, but their potential is absolutely through the roof.
Rodgers looks every bit the part of the receiving tight end that's taking the league by storm. As for Lyerla, he can line up all over the field for the Packers and make play after play.
By bringing back Finley, the Packers would ultimately be taking away potential snaps from their young rookies. It might even cause the Packers to release one of them simply because they don't have room on the roster to keep many tight ends.
Both those situations would not only be bad for the Packers this season but also extremely bad for the foreseeable future. There's reason to believe that either Rodgers or Lyerla could be the starting tight end in 2015. Heck, some believe, myself included, that Lyerla has a chance to win the starting tight end job this year.
So, while bringing Finley back would be a heart-warming story, it'd be an unnecessary move that could hinder the development of the Packers offense for years.
That's no knock on Finley who'll always have a place in the hearts of those in Green Bay. It's just the reality that the Packers have already moved on from Finley with their current roster.