Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Jermichael Finley set to visit Seahawks
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Seattle Seahawks will be the first team to take a look at tight end Jermichael Finley.
Just minutes after Finley hit the free-agent market, an NFL source said he would arrive in Seattle on Tuesday night and will visit with the Seahawks on Wednesday. One of the first orders of business, according to the source, was a meeting with the Seahawks doctors, who will examine his surgically repaired neck.
Finley underwent fusion surgery between the C-3 and C-4 vertebra last November following the season-ending neck injury he sustained on Oct. 20 against the Cleveland Browns.
It's unclear if the Green Bay Packers have had a chance to examine Finley recently. In fact, it's not even known if Finley's surgeon, Dr. Joseph Maroon, has cleared Finley. Maroon is the Pittsburgh Steelers' team doctor.
Last month at the NFL scouting combine, Packers coach Mike McCarthy was optimistic that Finley would be cleared, saying the injury wasn't exactly the same as the one suffered by former Packers safety Nick Collins. The Packers released Collins following a C-3/C-4 fusion surgery in 2011.
Finley is a free agent for the second time in three years. Two years ago, he opted to sign only a two-year deal (for $14 million) in the hope that he would blossom into a star and command an even bigger contract the next time around.
If Finley signs with the Seahawks, he would be reunited with general manager John Schneider, who was one of packers general Manager Ted Thompson's top personnel advisors in Green Bay when the Packers drafted Finley in the third round in 2008.
In 70 games with the Packers over six seasons, Finley has 223 catches for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns. In 2012, he set a franchise record for receptions by a tight end with 61.
In other news involving Packers' free agents, center Evan Dietrich-Smith is scheduled to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan confirmed the visit. The New York Giants also are believed to be interested in Dietrich-Smith.