|Green Bay keeps Finley for two more years, is Flynn next? (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
There were concerns heading into the offseason that free agent tight end Jermichael Finley, who hauled in 131 passes for 1,744 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Packers since 2009, would want to be paid like a wide receiver. Turns out, the two sides found common ground nearly two weeks before the start of free agency; Finley has signed a two-year deal with Green Bay worth slightly less than $15 million. ProFootballTalk.com originally reported the news and Finley confirmed it on Twitter.
It's TRUE! Thank you so much to the Packers organization, all of my fans, and my beautiful wife. Happy Bday. Let's GO Packers!! Back soon...
2/22/12 8:31 PM
As PFT noted, the average value of Finley's new contract -- roughly $7.5 million -- splits the difference between the franchise tag values for tight ends ($5.4) and wide receivers ($9.4).
Finley made $1.2 million in base salary last season.
Signing Finley means that the Packers now have the franchise tag still available to them to use as they see fit. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein tweets that "I anticipate the Packers using the franchise tag on (Matt) Flynn now. They'll take the $14 million cap hit and then deal him to somebody."
We wrote about this possibility on January 3 when Silverstein first floated the idea of a Packers tag and trade:
Silverstein [writes] that the move isn't without risk for the Packers. Putting aside the illegality of a tag and trade, there's also the issue of having a $14 million backup on your roster if other teams aren't sufficiently interested in trading for him. Which means that team president Ted Thompson would have to work with Flynn's agent "behind the scenes to find a trading partner and then negotiate a deal suitable to Flynn."
Silverstein was told by a "prominent agent who has represented a franchise player" that Green Bay could be in line for a first-round pick at minimum for Flynn, and maybe a first- and third-rounder.
That sounds, well, extreme, especially since Hue Jackson already traded for Carson Palmer.
Almost two months later and it still sounds extreme.
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