He's not treating this February any differently. He's not agonizing about his future.
In Minneapolis, Jermichael Finley continues to work out with "Dr. Josh." With sports medicine specialist Josh Sandell, the Green Bay Packers tight end says he's keeping his body right and, most importantly, keeping his mind right.
Maybe Finley stays in Green Bay next season. Maybe he's moving on. On Thursday, he said it's "50/50" whether he will be in Green Bay next season.
"I would love to stay there," Finley said, "but if Green Bay says otherwise, I play football for a living, so I'd have to switch gears and get ready for another chapter in my life."
Count this as one of general manager Ted Thompson's most difficult decisions this spring. By releasing or trading Finley, the Packers save $8.25 million. He's due a $3 million bonus in March. Yet this is also a young, athletic, physical specimen that's rare for the position. If the Packers let the 25-year-old walk - without a proven replacement in house - they might regret it.
At his season-ending news conference, coach Mike McCarthy threw his support behind Finley.
But the tight end also realizes his days in Green Bay could be numbered. One league source called it "a coin flip."
"It's the nature of the business," Finley said. "If there's a guy that's overpaid or that they think is overpaid, they'll ask for a pay cut. There's no doubt that I want to be there for life. But it's a business and the business will tell you otherwise. I would say on the business front, it's 50/50. But if it was up to me or anybody in my circle, I would love to be back."
A pay cut could be a possibility. Finley could sign a more cap-friendly, multiyear extension with the Packers that'd allow them to deal with Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji with more flexibility.
Plenty hinges on the Packers' confidence in Finley's maturation. The tight end admits criticism from fans bothered him through his rash of drops early in the 2012 season. He heard verbal jabs out of the tunnel during introductions, from the sideline during games and on Twitter.
"When I'm out and about, people will say, 'Hey don't drop your keys!'" Finley said. "I get pretty much everything. It became second nature. It doesn't bother me at all. It's just something I had to overlook."
Jermichael Finley sees it as "50/50" whether he'll stay with Packers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 8