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Finley says he won't take pay cut

Feb. 28, 2013
 
Jermichael Finley. (Dan Powers/ Post-Crescent Media)
Jermichael Finley. (Dan Powers/ Post-Crescent Media)

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Jermichael Finley says that if Packers insist on him taking a pay cut to remain with the team, they’ll have to cut him.

Finley, the Packers’ starting tight end, is due to make $8.25 million in salary and bonuses this year. Coach Mike McCarthy’s positive comments about Finley since the end of the season suggest the Packers are planning on bringing him back, but if they determine they want him at a lower contract, he says he’s not open to a pay cut, according to a report on ESPN.com.

“I’d have to walk for sure, meaning I couldn’t take a pay cut,” Finley told ESPN.com. “Maybe I’d restructure if it’s a deal that I like and it makes sense, but I’m not the guy that’s just going to sign anything and let anything pass. I’m not that guy. Other than that, taking a pay cut or restructuring doesn’t sound good to me at this time. I like my deal. I start training in Minneapolis tomorrow and I’m more inspired than ever to start next season off right and be the tight end I know I can be. It’s all business at the end of the day. I just love what I do.”

In effect, Finley is saying he thinks he can get a comparable or better contract on the open market as he has now. He’s due a $3.5 million roster bonus in March, so the Packers have until then to decide what to do.

At age 25 – he turns 26 on March 26 – Finley is young for a player going into his sixth NFL season. Though he’s among the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL, that’s still based more on potential than production. He has his best season last year, when he caught a career-high 61 passes, including 18 in the last three regular-season games. His average of 10.9 yards per reception was a career low.

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