Former Green Bay Packers strong safety LeRoy Butler joined the crazy “New England Patriots trade for a big-name tight end” scenarios yesterday by tweeting what you see below.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (88) during the game against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
ASAP huh? Honestly, the craziest part about Butler’s trade scenario isn’t the fact that he thinks the Patriots should be desperate enough to trade for a guy like Jermichael Finley; it’s the fact that he would trade a second-rounder for Finley. If you talk to enough Packers fans or have watched Finley enough, you would know that his incredible talent is undermined by his inconsistency, the fact that he seems to “dog it” too often, and he also drops the ball way too much. I mean, if you are one of those fans who thinks Wes Welker was incredibly drop prone, you would probably throw your remote multiple times at Finley on the screen.
I can’t see the Patriots trading for a tight end, largely because I don’t think the Pats need to go for that kind of a player. Rob Gronkowski isn’t going to be out forever, Jake Ballard is a valuable No. 2 TE, Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui are great blockers, and Zach Sudfeld and Brandon Ford are intriguing UDFAs. If the Patriots don’t feel comfortable with just having that group, then Dallas Clark is a cheap choice on the free agent market and a player who was still productive last season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Really though? A second-rounder for Jermichael Finley? That’s never going to happen, especially with Finley’s issues with consistency and the fact that he is on a one-year deal. Honestly, his trade value is a third-round pick at best, and I couldn’t see the Patriots dealing a draft pick for a big-name TE. If the Pats need to sign someone else at the position, it’s going to be a steady veteran like Clark.
I know LeRoy Butler was just throwing stuff out there, but I felt like I needed to get my thoughts out there on the Patriots potentially going for a big-name TE. It most likely isn’t worth it for the Pats, and I’ve seen other posts talking about how the Patriots should acquire a guy like Jason Witten or other star TEs around the league. The Pats tight end situation isn’t as bad as many people think due to their depth there, and the real importance with losing Hernandez is trying to replace him in the slot. He was more of a wide receiver than a TE in the passing game, and that’s where guys like Julian Edelman and Josh Boyce need to come in.
From the Packers perspective, it doesn’t make much sense to trade Finley, knowing that they won’t get what they want for him. Finley is most valuable to the Packers, and a lot of his value stems from the loss of Greg Jennings. The Packers need to continue to surround Aaron Rodgers with weapons, and losing Finley would put a lot of strain on Rodgers, who has already had to carry this offense through enough over the past couple of years. His receivers have always been great, but that makes up for inconsistency on the offensive line and on the ground. Like a Jason Witten deal, a Jermichael Finley deal wouldn’t make much sense for either side.