February 28, 02013
The Green Bay Packers have some significant decisions to make this offseason as they ultimately move toward some huge contract extensions expected for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews.
One of them involves tight end Jermichael Finley, the outspoken performer who is entering the final year of his contract. Finley is set to count $8.75 million against the team’s salary cap in 2013. The Packers, of course, could lower that figure if they extended Finley, but there are no signs at this point that is happening.
Coach Mike McCarthy has spoken positively about Finley and the team could lose wide receiver Greg Jennings. Shedding too many playmakers for Rodgers could be problematic. But Finley isn’t looking to cut the Packers a discount.
“The Packers are barely talking to me right now. I know they're just doing it the Packer way and playing it close to the vest,” Finley told Josina Anderson of ESPN. “I haven't got a call. I haven't got a text asking me to take a pay cut or to restructure my deal at this point--not at all."
Finley made it clear he is not interested in reducing his 2013 salary.
"I'd have to walk for sure, meaning I couldn't take a pay cut,” he told Anderson. “Maybe I'd restructure if it's a deal that I like and it makes sense, but I'm not the guy that's just going to sign anything and let anything pass. I'm not that guy. Other than that, taking a pay cut or restructuring doesn't sound good to me at this time. I like my deal. I start training in Minneapolis tomorrow and I'm more inspired than ever to start next season off right and be the tight end I know I can be. It's all business at the end of the day. I just love what I do."
Finley cannot restructure a one-year contract to reduce the cap hit unless he is extended. So, we’ll see where this heads.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune