The visits are starting for Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.
Although Seattle reportedly has bowed out of the market for the 27-year-old tight end’s services, the New England Patriots brought Finley in for a visit last Friday, according to ESPN Insider Adam Caplan.
Finley came to Green Bay last weekend, but didn’t have any tests performed on his surgically repaired neck with team doctor, Pat McKenzie. It isn’t known whether he has another appointment made to return for a more thorough examination.
Finley’s agent, Blake Baratz, told Pro Football Talk last week his client had a visit with an NFL team on Friday, but wouldn’t say who it was with. The Patriots, who didn’t draft a tight end, make sense with tight end Rob Gronkowski still without a timeline in his recovery from a torn ACL and MCL.
Gronkowski caught 39 passes for 592 yards with four touchdowns in seven games last year, but didn’t have an answer at the position when he went down. Fifth-year tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (12 catches for 136 yards) was the next closest in terms of production.
One thing that could help Finley's interest is Saturday marked the last day the signing of unrestricted free agents affect the compensatory pick formula, meaning NFL teams wouldn't lose a possible extra pick in next year's draft. Likewise, the Packers are no longer entitled to a possible pick if he signs elsewhere.
The Packers still have interest as coach Mike McCarthy has reiterated numerous times he’d like to have Finley back. They’ll have about $12 million left in salary cap room once all their draft picks are signed, but also want to work on extensions with receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb this offseason.
Green Bay has one spot open on the active roster after releasing linebacker Victor Aiyewa last week.