Former Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has been waiting for some good news and he finally got some yesterday as his agent reported that the tight end has received the medical clearance he has been trying to get all offseason.
Finley’s agent, Blake Baratz, told Pro Football Talk on Thursday that Finley had received medical clearance Dr. Joseph Maroon, a Pittsburgh neurosurgeon, who performed the surgery on Finley. Maroon also works with the Steelers so his clearance of Finley is not insignificant.
Yet, at the end of the day if Finley wants to sign with a team it will be the opinion of that team’s doctor that matters, no that of Maroon.
It has been a long offseason for Finley, who is now an unrestricted free agent. At times, it appeared he may not make it back on the field in 2014 but with his medical clearance now in hand, the talented pass catcher is visiting Friday with an unknown team, according to Pro Football Talk.
This should not come as a surprise as Finley is a supremely talented player that has three seasons with more than 55 receptions and is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
The Seattle Seahawks were one team that show interest in Finley early on in free agency but told him to get back in touch with him once he is healthy, so maybe they will come into play. There are also rumors circulating about the New England Patriots being interested as well but nothing has been substantiated.
Of course Packer fans want to know what is the likelihood that Finley returns to Green Bay, where he has spent his first six NFL seasons.
Throughout the offseason, the Packers have talked about Finley still being part of the organization and their future once he was past his health issues. However, saying that and coming to terms on a contract with him is another matter.
Certainly head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson want Finley back. Without him, the Packers will likely turn to Andrew Quarless as their starting tight end, who is a solid but not the impact player Finley is.
Before his injury, Finley was headed for quite possibly his most productive season as a Packer with 25 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns in just six games.
Green Bay certainly has a need for a talented tight end like Finley and with nearly $15 million in cap space; the Packers have the money to get a deal done. Yet, it will again come down to Finley’s health and he will need to be clear by Packers’ team doctor Pat McKenzie before any contact can be consummated.
For right now it’s good to know Finley is healthy; in terms of his football future, expect the waiting to continue just a little bit longer.