Trade Finley? That's Just Crazy

The Packers' passing game already lacks proven firepower, making Jermichael Finley a key piece to puzzle rather than an expendable piece to help the Patriots.

LeRoy Butler was one hell of a safety. That he hasn't gotten an ounce of love from the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters is a shame.

However, it's probably a good thing that Butler isn't running a franchise.

In light of the murder charge against Aaron Hernandez and the Patriots' release of the talented tight end, Butler took to Twitter and said, "If I am the pats I trade for Finley ASAP for 2nd round pick."

In fairness to Butler, he didn't suggest the Green Bay Packers make a call to New England to offer Jermichael Finley. Nonetheless, for all the grief Finley has taken from the fans — some deserved, some not deserved — trading Finley would be offensive suicide.

James Jones (251 receptions), Jordy Nelson (217) and Randall Cobb (105), the team's only established receivers, have a combined 573 receptions. Finley has 198 career receptions, pushing the total to 771 receptions.

The Packers have nine other receivers on the roster. Jarrett Boykin has all five receptions from that group, which includes seven rookies. Joining Finley at tight end are Andrew Quarless (24 receptions), Matthew Mulligan (14), D.J. Williams (nine) and Ryan Taylor (two), along with Brandon Bostick (practice squad as rookie) and Jake Stoneburner (rookie).

Add it up, and the Packers have a combined 54 receptions from the receivers and tight ends beyond Jones, Nelson, Cobb and Finley. Just 21 of those catches came in 2012. That's obviously not a lot of proven firepower for the Aaron Rodgers-led and Mike McCarthy-coached passing game.

For the record, Donald Driver caught 743 passes and Greg Jennings caught 425 passes, meaning the Packers lost a combined 1,168 receptions.

For the record, Finley's big second half of last season ranked among the best among tight ends. In the final seven games of last season, Finley caught 32 passes. Only Dallas' Jason Witten (44), New Orleans' Jimmy Graham (40), Oakland's Brandon Myers (35) and New England's Aaron Hernandez (34) had more receptions among tight ends. Only Witten (454) and Graham (449) had more yards than Finley's 396 during that final seven-game stretch.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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