The Packers and tight end Jermichael Finley have reached an agreement on a two-year contract, according to a report by ESPN.
Finley confirmed the news on his Twitter account, writing "It's TRUE! Thank you so much to the Packers organization, all of my fans, and my beautiful wife. Happy Bday. Let's GO Packers!! Back soon..."
The deal will pay Finley $15 million according to ESPN.
The Packers did not exercise the franchise tag on Finley as some thought they would. As ProFootballTalk.com points out the salary of $7.5 million is roughly half way inbetween the franchise tender for a tight end, $5.4 million, and that of a wide receiver, $9.4 million.
Finley's agent Blake Baratz was prepared to argue through arbitration that if the Packers were to franchise Finley he should be classified as a wide receiver based on how he is used in the Packers offense. If that had come to pass, the Packers would have had to pay him $9.4 million but only for one season. Finley gets two years and the Packers and Finley can re-evaluate in two years.
Either way it appears to be a very fair deal for both sides. Makes you wonder why all contract negotiations can't be this easy?
Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com makes some intersting points---comparatively speaking the Packers got Finley on the cheap.
Seifert writes, "Why would Finley take this deal rather than seek one that paid him the way the Seattle Seahawks paid Zach Miller (five years, $34 million with $17 million guaranteed) or the San Francisco 49ers paid Vernon Davis (five years, $37 million with $23 million guaranteed) in the past year? Finley might not have gotten that kind of money elsewhere, but Finley didn't give himself a chance to find out. In the end, his decision represents a calculated bet. Finley is thinking that two more years of putting up big numbers for the Packers will put him in that position. After the 2013 season, remember, Finley will still only be 26 years old."
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