Jermichael Finley to undergo more tests Wednesday
Tom Pelissero, USA TODAY Sports
July 14, 2014
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. – Free agent tight end Jermichael Finley says he will undergo another round of medical tests Wednesday and send the results to all 32 teams in hopes of landing on a roster before training camp.
But after a workout Monday afternoon, Finley told USA TODAY Sports he intends to keep being patient and wait for an offer that can compel him to return from spinal surgery, rather than walking away and moving to collect a $10 million insurance policy.
"As long as I wait, you know and I know, guys are going to go down and the money's going to shoot up," Finley said, sitting in the weight room at WelleFast Elite Sports Training. "It's all a waiting game right now."
Finley, 27, had his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae fused a month after suffering a spinal contusion Oct. 20 on a hit by Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. He can file a claim to collect the insurance policy one year to the day after the injury if he hasn't played in four games.
The Green Bay Packers remain the most likely destination if Finley comes back, given that he knows the system and coaching staff after playing his first six NFL seasons there. He owns an expensive home in the area and his family continues to live there.
But Finley also has visited the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks and said he has received interest from other teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose team neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph Maroon, performed Finley's surgery in November and cleared him in May.
"Pittsburgh have showed me a couple deals, but we all know the money ain't what it's supposed to be," said Finley, who has 223 career catches for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns. "If I quit the game right now, I can take tax-free money, and that's a difficult thing that I'm going through with myself …"
Finley said Wednesday's tests will include an MRI and CAT scan – the latest in a series he has undergone through the offseason to gauge how the spine is healing. He said Maroon assured him the chances are "99.9 percent that if I get back on the field, I'll be more protected and in better shape than I was before my injury."
Bill Welle, who has trained Finley the past five years, said his client has appeared game-ready from a physical standpoint the past six weeks. And Finley looked like himself catching passes from Welle during Monday's workout.
"You saw him catching stuff that most people can't catch. He's freaky good," Welle said. "The good thing is because his body was already there at one point, those neuropathways were established, so it's just a matter of retraining it and it happens a lot quicker.
"The key is going to be putting on a helmet and stepping on the field and saying, 'OK, where are we at now?'"
Finley said he believes he'll get to find that out sooner than later and have a job when camps begin. He said he has no limitations in his training and has cut weight to around 245 or 250 pounds in hopes of quickly returning to top form in the receiving game.
Now he just has to hope the latest round of tests backs him up.
"This is a huge week for me," Finley said, "and I'm a competitor, so I'm looking forward to it."
Why not sign him so he can start learning the offense now, but put him on PUP to give his neck a little bit more time to heal. He'd have to sit out the first 6 games, meaning he should be able to collect on his insurance policy as well, and be good to go in mid-October.
1.22 OLB Alvin "Bud" Dupree, 6'4" 269
2.56 TE Clive Walford, 6'4" 251
3.87 CB Alex Carter, 6'0" 196
4.121 OT Donovan Smith, 6'6" 338
5.160 FS Kurtis Drummond, 6'1" 208
6.199 WR Stefon Diggs, 6'0" 195
6.212c CB Cam Thomas, 6'0" 195
7.239 OLB Obum Gwachum, 6'5" 246
RB John Crockett, 6'0" 217
RB Corey Grant, 5'9" 201
DE B.J. Dubose, 6'4" 284
DE Martin Ifedi, 6'3" 275
FS Jordan Haden, 5'11" 200
P Spencer Roth, 6'4" 227
So, Pgh is trying to low ball him, and unless he decides to play for super cheap, he won't be in Pgh. But what is he talking about with tax free money? I don't get the reference. I know you can have state-tax free money, but not in PA (which is another reason why I am thrilled to not live there).Source: USA TODAY Sports - Tom Pelissero
Free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (Packers) is receiving interest from the Pittsburgh Steelers. It should be noted that the Steelers' neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph Maroon, performed Finley's surgery in November and cleared him in May. 'Pittsburgh have showed me a couple deals, but we all know the money ain't what it's supposed to be,' said Finley, who has 223 career catches for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns. 'If I quit the game right now, I can take tax-free money, and that's a difficult thing that I'm going through with myself …'
My problem with that is its worded that if he misses the first 4 games, can he miss 4 games collect the money then sign a deal?
Id only want him if he was able to go thoough traning camp but his decision seems pretty simple
I'm pretty sure he can't play football again if he collects the 10mil.
So i looked it up. He can claim the insurance one year after an injury, but he would likely have to retire to claim it and not have a battle to collect on it. Playing in x # of games would be a huge detriment to his case.
If he collects it after the 4 games and then signs a contract he will be sued by the insurance company...he wont be allowed to double dip. It is one or the other, if its me the choice is clear....he had his spine crushed into liquid and was able to walk again. Hes 27 years old with a family....uhhhhh, $10 million cash please