The future of Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has been a matter of public discussion since December, when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the team planned to part ways with him after the season. According to the report, salary cap considerations and a disappointing start in 2012 contributed to the Packers' thinking at the time.

Finley's $8.75 million cap number for 2013 has helped perpetuate the conversation, but we can say at least one thing for certain: Packers coach Mike McCarthy absolutely wants Finley back. If the team is truly having an internal conversation about Finley's future, it's clear where McCarthy stands.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL scouting combine, McCarthy reiterated his admiration for the way Finley finished the season as well as the matchup problems he poses for opponents. I guess it's possible the Packers are trying to drum up a trade market for Finley, which repeated public praise is sometimes designed to do, but for the moment I'm taking McCarthy's sentiments at face value.

"When you look at Jermichael," McCarthy said, "and you go on the other side of the ball or you talk to any of the defensive guys that played against him, he's a matchup challenge for defenses. I think his best routes are when we're attacking the middle of the field with him. I think he's unique that way. Big target, excellent in the red zone. I thought he played much better with the ball in his hand after the catch.