Jermichael Finley will stay with the Packers after agreeing to terms on a new, two year contract worth a reported 15 million dollars. Due to become an unrestricted free agent next month when he turns 25, Finley confirmed the deal through his Twitter account, tweeting; "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." Finley was seeking a long term contract as a free agent while the Packers considered applying the franchise tag that would lock him up for just the 2012 season at a price equal to the average of the five highest paid tight ends in the league. That price is expected to be around 5.4 million dollars. Finley's agent, Blake Baratz was contending his client is more like a wide receiver than a tight end and in the Pack's offensive system, that might be true. Finley is split wide for matchup purposes more often than lining up next to a tackle. Arguing his worth is more wide receiver worthy could've pushed that franchise salary to around 9.4 million, the average price of the highest paid wide receivers. So the two sides are splitting it down the middle with Finley's contract averaging about 7.5 million a year and if the talented player continues to increase his production, he could be in line for a mega-payday before the 2014 season when Finley will still be just 26. Playing all 16 games for the first time in his career last season, Finley finished with 55 catches for 767 yards and 8 touchdowns. Nice numbers to be sure, but he also had 11 drops and the stats paled in comparison to the breakout years of tight ends like Jimmy Graham in New Orleans and Rob Gronkowski in New England.
General Manager Ted Thompson, Head Coach Mike McCarthy and the personel and coaching staffs are all in Indianapolis for the annual NFL Scouting Combine which begins today and runs through early next week. On the link below, some comments from Thompson on the combine and quotes from one of several Wisconsin Badgers who will be auditioning for all 32 teams.