According to Ian Rapoport from the NFL Network, the Steelers have interest in signing free agent tight end, Jermichael Finley. The Packers, Raiders, and Patriots are also showing interest. Finley is attempting to return to the NFL after a scary neck injury last year against the Cleveland Browns in Week 7. By all accounts Finley is in great shape and has been medically cleared by a few doctors. Including his own personal doctor, Dr. Joseph Maroon, who also doubles as a Steelers team doctor. Thus the Steel City’s interest in the athletic tight end. Finley also has the choice to not even return to the NFL. If he chooses to call it a career he could receive $10 million as part of an injury settlement.
For right now, let’s assume that Finely is 100%. If so, the Steelers should consider signing him at the right price. Finley is only 27 years old and has always been athletic at 6’4″ and 240 pounds. Playing on the Packers, with all their other weapons, Finley had his best year in 2011, catching eight touchdowns. He has been very good during his six-year career if he can stay on the field. He only played in five games in 2010 and obviously last year his season ended after six games.
The question of would the Steelers actually need another tight end to go with Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth is a valid one. Heath is Heath. We know what we are going to get with him. The only thing is that he is now 32 years old. Signing the younger Finley could secure the future of the position depending on how much longer Heath decides to play. Plus with the lingering questions of who will be the number two receiver, it might be nice to add another target. Especially a big red zone target, something that Big Ben has been wanting for seemingly his entire career. Clearly Finley would have a bigger impact catching the ball than Spaeth, who has only had one season with over 10 receptions.
In my opinion, if the Steelers can get him. Sign him. Sure it remains to be seen if he will be the same player he was before the neck injury. The mental aspect of playing football again could be tough to overcome but if he can do it, he’s a huge weapon. A weapon the Steelers could use. The Patriots have proven that the two tight end system can work. Having Heath and Finley would be a huge safety blanket for Big Ben whenever he is under pressure. Plus if he can block well enough, his size will help the run game. Also, assuming they would not have to overpay him because of the unstable injury history, the risk will not be too large. If he gets hurt again, so be it.
What do you think Steelers Nation? Sign him? Or let him go elsewhere?