We told you last night about tight end Jermichael Finley‘s new two-year, $15 million deal. Now we know the breakdown of the contract and have to, at least somewhat, question how the Green Bay Packers structured the deal.
Finley will make $5.75 million this year and $8.25 million in 2013. While it’s not uncommon for the amount of a contract to increase from one year to the next, the interesting thing is the Packers gave Finley a $4.45 million roster bonus next March. Essentially, if he doesn’t fulfill his considerable potential this season, the team can release him next March.
If they don’t, they’re stuck paying him more than $8 million, which could pose a significant salary cap problem. The Packers are expected to extend quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ deal during or after this season and that will take up the largest portion of their salary cap.
We’ll sure the team will work everything out, but clearly it’s not a foregone conclusion Finley will be with the Packers past 2012.
Speculation now turns to the franchise tag, which most people expected the Packers to use on Finley. There are rumors circulating the team may use the tag on quarterback Matt Flynn so they can trade him.
Flynn would likely net the Packers at least a second-round pick, but the team would be on the hook for $14 million, so making a trade quickly is important. The more teams that find their quarterback through free agency or the draft, the smaller the market for Flynn grows and the less leverage the Packers have.
Franchising Flynn could be a tricky proposition, but the benefit is there if the Packers can find a trade partner.