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Jermichael Finley expects to be cleared for contact

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley's football future was on the line when he went under the knife for spinal fusion surgery in November.

One former Packers star who spoke with Finley at the time was even willing to bet his bottom dollar that the impending free agent would never suit up again.

It now appears Finley has avoided that worst-case scenario.

Finley told ProFootballTalk on Friday that he expects to gain clearance for a return to full contact football activities within the next three or four weeks. The tight end's doctors are "99.9 percent" confident that he will get the green light.

It's major news for a player facing a pivotal offseason. Prior to the injury, Finley was on pace to reset his franchise record for most single-season receiving yards at his position.

He would be second only to Jimmy Graham among tight ends on the open market if not for the major surgery. As it is now, teams might be leery of investing guaranteed money due to the injury risk.

Finley reportedly has suggested that he's not looking to take a discount coming off the surgery. If that's the case, it's likely that he has played his last down with the Packers.

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