Update: According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, Jermichael Finley visited the Patriots on Friday. No deal has been made for the restricted free agent as of yet.
According to his agent, tight end Jermichael Finley has been cleared by his personal doctor to play football and though that doesn’t necessarily mean he can contribute on the field right away, the Patriots should look to bring him in for a workout no matter what. Finley suffered a Spinal-Cord contusion in 2013, but the doctor that cleared him is also the one who performed the surgery, which is hopeful.
Question – Do we need another year of 10 games from Gronkowski with Hoomanawanui being the only notable backup? It’s sad that a position the Patriots were once ahead of the curve in now has become low priority for them. Brady has always gelled with slot receivers and tight ends, always. Prioritize the position. I screamed for them to draft a guy, but they didn’t.
Things with Finley didn’t end well in Green Bay as he never reached the ceiling that was projected for him by the Packers coaching staff. It means jack to me that he didn’t get along with coaches. Character issues haven’t detracted the Patriots from signing players – see Randy Moss, Aaron Hernandez, etc.
Finley had his best year in 2011, grabbing 8 touchdowns on 55 total receptions. He was a first down converting machine that season as 44 of those 55 catches were for first downs. Think about the fact that 52 of Finley’s 55 receptions in 2013 were for a first down or touchdown. According to Finley’s agent, the six-year veteran tight end met with a team this past Friday, but he declined to publicly name the team as the team requested silence. Sounds like a Patriots-type request if you ask me.
Perhaps the more telling sign of a depleted Patriots tight end core was the fact that in OTA’s, fullback James Develin was taking reps in a ‘light tight end group’ according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. I like James Develin as a fullback, not as a tight end.
The 27-year old Finley is coming off an injury, has been released by his former team and that screams a value contract to me, which the Patriots/Bill Belichick love. The contract would likely be team-friendly and include minimal guaranteed money.
The offseason has been strange as prior to the draft the Patriots looked to be in a ‘win now’ mentality signing Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Will Smith, but in the second round they took a quarterback aimed at helping in the future. To continue a win now mentality, the Patriots should bring in Finley for a workout and who knows, maybe they already did.