GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Heading into the final week before the free-agent frenzy begins, no doubt Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson already has made some decisions about his players who are set to hit the open market.
It’s much easier to play arm-chair general manager, so we will.
This week, we’ll examine some of the tougher decisions Thompson has to make among his 17 players who began this offseason as unrestricted free agents. We’ll skip cornerback Sam Shields, who isn’t expected to get a deal done before hitting the open mark.
First up is tight end Jemichael Finley, whose talent has never been in question.
Finley recently completed a two-year, $14 million contract. He has six NFL seasons under his belt, yet won’t turn 27 until later this month. He caught a career-high 61 passes in 2012 and had a career-best 767 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. He was on pace to better those numbers in 2013 at the time of his season-ending neck injury on Oct. 20 against the Cleveland Browns.
His injury history complicates what would have been a difficult negotiation to begin with. Neck fusion surgery has left his career in jeopardy, although Packers coach Mike McCarthy said last month at the NFL scouting combine that he was optimistic about Finley’s return.
If that’s the case, then is it worth bringing Finley back?
That’s for you to decide. Vote in our keep him or dump him poll. We’ll do the same with a different free-agent-to-be all week, then examine the results at the end.