Jermichael Finley is, or at least was, among the top 10 tight ends in football when healthy. But that’s the issue, he isn’t healthy much, especially as of late. He’s only played a full 16 game season twice in his career, and has played less than half of the season twice as well. One of those disappointed less-than-half seasons was last year, when his season was cut short by a serious neck injury.
Now, the reason that this is all relevant is because Finley has been offered a contract by the Steelers. The offer, of course, came after Finley was medically cleared by doctors to resume football activities. If Finley were to sign with the Steelers, it would be hard to argue the signing. Finley may be hurt pretty frequently, but when he’s healthy he makes an impact. The three seasons that Finley played more than half of the games in
since becoming a starter in Green Bay have been above average for a tight end. He racked up 171 receptions, 2110 yards, and 15 touchdowns over those three seasons (45 games). That’s 57/703.3/5 per season and 3.78/46.89/.33 per game. I would consider that production a very welcome addition to the stable of tight ends that currently exists in Pittsburgh.
As of right now Heath Miller is really the only viable tight end on the roster. Matt Spaeth is good for blocking but not much else, David Paulson is pretty bad in general, Rob Blanchflower is unproven, and Eric Waters has massive athletic potential but is very raw. Jermichael Finley would immediately be able to step in and become an outside receiving threat, which is the one area of Heath’s game that leaves a little to be desired. An outside receiver who is able to go up and get the ball and bring it down in traffic is what would make him most valuable to the offense. The receiving corps lacks a proven receiver with that skillset, and that is the type of player Finley is. Don’t get too excited about the production he would bring, because it likely wouldn’t be as much what it was in Green Bay. I would, however, be a nice augment to the production that already exists in the Steel City. It’s no secret that Finley doesn’t have the best hands in the world, but that can be tolerated out of a receiver who creates big plays, wouldn’t see the field an overwhelming amount, and likely wouldn’t be counting very much against the cap.
If the Steelers front office is able to work a deal out with Finley and his agent I, for one, would be very excited. It likely wouldn’t be on a huge contract or include an overwhelming role on the team, but it would seemingly bring nice production for how much he is paid or is playing.