Although the Green Bay Packers are unhappy with Jermichael Finley‘s $8.25 million total salary (including workout bonuses, a $4.45 million salary, and a $3 million roster bonus that was already paid out), Finley never needed to restructure his contract. Of course, that doesn’t mean Finley isn’t on a short leash, because there was a possibility that Finley would leave Green Bay after the 2012 season.
Finley has a lot to prove in 2013, because he severely underperformed last season. The 26-year-old did finish with 61 receptions and got things right down the stretch, but Finley also had a quarter of the touchdown receptions he hauled in during the 2012 season and averaged significantly less yards per catch.
Motivation and work ethic are two things that Jermichael Finley was heavily criticized for not having, but he sounds motivated to turn things around in 2013. He told ESPN Milwaukee, “Fat and happy, I would never. You could give me $100 mil. I would never get fat and happy.”
We can take some solace in that. Finley is listed at 6’5″, 247 pounds, but some believe he looked heavier than that last season. He also told Milwaukee that he is “slimming down” this offseason, and that’s a good show of work ethic. Being “fat” in the NFL (as in, not in your best shape) is certainly not a route to being “happy”, and I think there’s more urgency now for Finley because he realizes this could be a make-or-break year for him in 2013. He also seemed to realize the need to perform better down the stretch in 2012.
Finley also said, “I’m just working a little bit harder. Slimming down,” Finley said. “I didn’t try to do it; it’s just how it worked.”
That’s great for Packers fans, and they need the extremely talented TE to play to his potential next season. It sounds like Finley is actively working to make good on his whopping salary next year, and 667 yards with two receiving touchdowns isn’t going to cut it with $8.25 million on the line. Finley was not expected to leave Green Bay, but there was always the chance of it happening after more than a season in which the Packers felt a sour taste in their mouths from Finley’s act.
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