While the overall concern of most fans is defensive improvement, there are still some important decisions to be made on the offensive side of the ball. The Packers have a total of nine offensive players headed to free agency. These players include: Jermichael Finley, James Jones, John Kuhn, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Marshall Newhouse, Seneca Wallace, Matt Flynn, and James Starks.
The biggest question mark of the group has to be Jermichael Finley. No one even knows if Finley will play another down in the NFL after the hard hit he took against the Cleveland Browns in Week 7. Nick Collins had a similar injury and was unable to return to the NFL due to potential life-threatening issues if he were to get hit the wrong way again. There is always a question as to whether or not a player can return to form after suffering a serious injury. While some people may disagree, if Finley is fully healthy and decides to continue his NFL career, I think the Packers should re-sign him. Minus the costly drop which turned into an interception against San Francisco Week 1, Finley had a nice start to the season. Through almost six games, he was able to accumulate 300 yards receiving and three touchdowns. It seemed as though he was on track to have maybe the best season of his career after struggling the past few years. There are no arguments as to whether or not he is a valuable asset. The Rodgers to Finley connection has proven to be deadly at times. There were questions about his hands for the past few years but for the first few games in 2013 he looked good.
Personally while I was disappointed the Packers did not have Finley for most of the season, I think this was the best possible scenario for them. If Jermichael had gone on to finish the season with career highs, he may have demanded money that Green Bay would not want to commit to. With the serious nature of his injury, it is unlikely that any team would be interested in signing him to a contract anywhere in the vicinity of what the league’s top tight ends are receiving. Therefore, it is a low-risk, high-reward situation for Green Bay. I really do not see why the Packers would not re-sign him if he proves to be healthy. He would still be a matchup nightmare and at times can play like a top three tight end in the league.
Unfortunately, I will not be surprised if the Packers decide to let Finley go and instead make Andrew Quarless the priority at tight end. This situation is one that the fans should all pay attention to because after a few years of good depth at the tight end position, next season could be a completely different story.