Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has talked a lot about his lack of opportunities this season, calling himself quarterback Aaron Rodgers' fourth option. It sounds like Finley won't be an option at all next season.
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Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Saturday that the team "not only wants to get rid of Finley but has decided to do exactly that in the off-season."
If the Packers can't find a trade partner, they will release Finley after signing him to a two-year, $14 million contract before the NFL Scouting Combine last February. Cutting Finley would be virtually painless for the team's salary cap. He also isn't due any guaranteed money.
We highly recommend reading McGinn's exhaustive and fascinating article. Much of it reads like a takedown of Finley's disappointing season, from his poor blocking to his drops to his undisciplined route running and attitude. The Packers reportedly also have grown weary of Finley's public comments and were said to be "livid" with the tight end's agent for tweeting that Rodgers was not a great leader.
"He's that type of athlete that will fool people," one scout told McGinn when asked about Finley's trade or free-agent value. "Unless you really, really dig and do your homework, and just look superficially, you'll say all he needs is just a change of scenery."
Perhaps this report was intended to be a wakeup call from the organization to Finley. But we don't doubt the Packers have grown tired of Finley's act.
UPDATE: Finley told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Sunday that he hadn't seen McGinn's report, but he wants "to be a Packer for life," and the team hasn't shown him any signs it will cut him.
Finley also downplayed any discord or need to work on chemistry with Rodgers, saying "we have a great relationship."
"You're going to get unhappy at times, but that's in the scheme of things -- it happens," Finley said. "At the end of the day, we are teammates and best friends, so that squashes everything."
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.