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Packers' Jermichael Finley: 'I couldn't take a pay cut'

The Green Bay Packers have a decision to make on Jermichael Finley. The tight end is due a $4.45 million base salary in 2013 and a $3 million roster bonus on March 27. There's also a $500,000 per-game roster bonus and a $300,000 workout bonus detailed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Packers are preparing for the future when they dish out major money to Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji. Finley, however, isn't giving any of his back.

"I'd have to walk for sure, meaning I couldn't take a pay cut," Finley told ESPN's Josina Anderson. "Maybe I'd restructure if it's a deal that I like and it makes sense, but I'm not the guy that's just going to sign anything and let anything pass. I'm not that guy. Other than that, taking a pay cut or restructuring doesn't sound good to me at this time. I like my deal.

"I start training in Minneapolis tomorrow and I'm more inspired than ever to start next season off right and be the tight end I know I can be. It's all business at the end of the day. I just love what I do."

The Packers haven't asked Finley to re-work his deal, but they're surely exploring all options. He's in the second-year of a two-year deal, but his $8.75 cap number will rank No. 2 on the team behind Rodgers.

The outspoken Finley remains an enigma in Green Bay. His production has varied during his five-year career, but few doubt the potential in his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame. Finley had a career-high 61 receptions in 2012 after he hit a groove during the second half of the season. He's still just 25 years old.

Players have few opportunities during their career when they have the leverage, which Finley has now. He'd be the No. 1 tight end on the market if the team released him.

The Packers consistently have surrounded Aaron Rodgers with talent, and Finley has a unique blend of size, speed and athleticism. Despite all the talk, I'd be shocked if he isn't on the Packers' 2013 roster.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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