Jermichael Finley is still searching for a new home in 2014. Here are some reasons why the risks are not as prevalent to the Oakland Raiders.
Reggie McKenzie can get him cheap due to injury risk
First there is the issue of price. Jermichael Finley is still well under the age of 30 and has a history of being very productive. However at the same time there is of course his injury situation, particularly regarding a recent neck issue that has a lot of teams being very wary about signing him. Nobody wants to overpay for a guy who might be one hit away from a wheelchair. Finley meanwhile says he’s been cleared by doctors and is ready to resume his career once a team grants him a shot. From the perspective of GM Reggie McKenzie, this is a player he should know. As director of player personnel in Green Bay, he was there when the Packers drafted Finley and saw his development first hand. He knows what Finley can do when healthy. Given the neck situation, it’s bound to drive down the price to a point where the Oakland Raiders can afford it. They currently have over $9 million in salary cap space. They could probably get Finley on a one-year flier deal somewhere between $2-$3 million without it having a serious effect.
Matt Schaub could use somebody besides Mychal Rivera
Besides that there is the simpler issue of offensive production. At present the Oakland Raiders don’t really have a proven threat at tight end for quarterback Matt Schaub. At present the most productive player they have at the position is second-year man Mychal Rivera who posted 38 catches for 407 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 Hopes are that with a new quarterback in town those numbers will go up but is that worth risking the tight ends not pulling their weight? There really is no harm in bringing in a Jermichael Finley. If he turns out a bust it’s a one-year risk that didn’t pass out and if he plays like he can then the Raiders suddenly have two credible threats down the middle of the field to compliment their retooled receiving corps. The NFL after all is about finding matchups.