"The 50-50 comments that I made, I would like to say that was probably tongue-in-cheek. It's wishful thinking. Hopefully he comes back," said Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff as he spoke on Tony Gonzalez and the 2013 combine. "Ideally we'd like to know as soon as possible. But we definitely will be concentrating on tight ends. It's a very important position in this league now, so rest assured we'll be honing in on that position."
Unfortunately, as we all know, wishful thinking doesn't always pan out exactly as we would like. And regardless of whether Tony Gonzalez chooses to return for another year or not, the Falcons desperately need youth at the position. So forking out the cash for what would likely be a hefty price tag on Gonzalez return might better be invested elsewhere. Jermichael Finley being an intriguing place to start.
With Greg Jennings reportedly a strong candidate for the Green Bay Packers franchise tag, Finley's future with the franchise has become suspect. A truth which has recently gathered steam as of February 25th, after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the packers are "torn" as to just how much they are willing to invest in Finley's future.
With that come red flags as to why the Green Bay Packers would be willing to let a first-class talent like Finley walk away in the first place. After all, Atlanta's very own general manager just alluded to the rising importance of the position in the sport.
“He played well for like four games this year,” said one high-ranking personnel scout of another AFC team.“You can’t trust the dude. He’s selfish.”
Nothing like a little attitude to overshadow a great talent. Something we all recently saw with former Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young. The scout went on to say Finley would not attract offers averaging more than $3 to $4 million dollars. A price tag which could prove very realistic depending on who the Falcons decide to release this offseason.
However if Finley does turn out to be less than well adjusted in team concepts, Dimitroff probably wouldn't take Finley for free seeing as he rightfully places such an emphasis on team chemistry.
That said, athletic tight ends who can create for themselves are a premium and Finley is currently coming off a career-high 61 catches. So if Atlanta determines his focus checks out with his talent, grabbing a talent like Finley at a reasonable price could allow Dimitroff to focus on other needs earlier in the draft; such as a pass rushers, linebackers or a complimentary halfback for Jacquizz Rodgers.
Your move, Packers.