By: Steve Balestrieri
The New England Patriots were in fact the “mystery team” that hosted former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley on Friday, as was reported by NFL insiders Ian Rapoport, Adam Caplan and others.
Finley suffered a serious neck injury in 2013, bruising his spinal cord, leaving him briefly without movement and feeling. A month later, he had his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae fused together.
Finley has since been cleared by his doctors that performed the surgery but not by any NFL team as yet, although he did stop in recently and visit the Packers medical staff. Green Bay has been rumored to be in the running to bring back Finley as are the Patriots and others. Recently the Seattle Seahawks dropped out of the running for Finley’s services.
Finley, 6’5, 247 has 223 career receptions for 2785 yards and 20 touchdowns, all as a member with the Packers.
Finley if healthy, combined with Rob Gronkowski would give the Patriots a dynamic 1-2 punch at tight end for the first time since 2012 when Gronk and Aaron Hernandez roamed the field together. However, that is a big “if” considering both are coming off serious injuries.
The Patriots are also still rumored to be interested in Dustin Keller as well. He too is coming off of a nasty injury sustained in the pre-season last year against the Houston Texans.
Their interest is buoyed by the fact that the depth chart after Gronkowski consists of Michael Hoomanawanui, D.J. Williams and UDFA rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson.