Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rapid Reaction: Packers Re-Sign Jermichael Finley

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, The Packers have agreed to a 2 year, $15 million deal with tight end Jermichael Finley.

Finley has since basically confirmed this via twitter (not that Schefter is ever wrong anyway), it's time to talk about what it means for the NFL and your fantasy team right here after the jump...

The biggest part of this news is that it's a two year deal, as everyone basically expected the Packers to franchise the impressive Finley anyway.  The two year deal keeps him off the market next season as well, and makes it far more likely that he will resign with Green Bay at the end of this deal.  Had they franchised him, it may have led to some bad blood, but this two year agreement seems amicable.

Many teams around the league (including my New York Giants) are surely upset by this deal, as even if it was a year away because of the franchise tag, I'm sure teams would have been lining up to throw money at him if he hit the open market.  A quick look at his stats don't even do him justice, as it's clear at times when you watch him play that he could be far more dominant in an offense that went out of it's way to feature him.

Green Bay wants to spread the ball around and let Aaron Rodgers break down the defenses and find the open man.  Finley is key to their offensive design because he's an athletic freak who can both work the middle of the field and go deep, forcing opposing defenses to out of certain coverages, but the Packers don't force the ball in to him, or anyone else on that offense.

Unfortunately, that's what limits him slightly for fantasy purposes.  He could be the featured cog in an offense, like Antonio Gates used to be or Rob Gronkowski was this year, but with the Packers he's just going to continue to put up great but not dominant numbers.  The athletic potential is going to keep him a high pick, but he is going to disappear for weeks at a time as Aaron Rodgers just spreads the ball to other guys.  He's still a top five fantasy tight end because he's an absolute athetic freak, but his offense is going to continue to limit his fantasy upside.

-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin

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