Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers: What Signing Tight End Jermichael Finley Would Mean

Oct 13, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (88) stiff arms Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Recent news has surfaced that the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking at acquiring Jermichael Finley in free agency.

According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Pittsburgh is one of five teams interested in signing the former Packers standout. If they want Finley, they will have to bid for him, something the Steelers don’t usually do.

Would it even be beneficial to bid for the athletic tight end who can’t stay on the field? What would this signing change about the Steelers offense?

Let’s break this down and see if he is really someone the Steelers should snag.

Start by looking at what Finley brings to the table and his impact on the draft. Signing Finley would most likely squash any chance of drafting North Carolina’s Eric Ebron as it would fill the need at the second-string tight end slot.

It could also lessen the need for a receiver as Finley’s 6-foot-5, 248-pound build certainly fits the mold of the big and tall pass catcher that Ben has been clamoring for.

Finley has shown brilliance at times with the Packers when healthy, as he’s produced three productive seasons – none better than his 2011 campaign that saw him finish behind only Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham for most touchdowns by a tight end, an impressive feat indeed. He has a great combination of size and speed that the Steelers could definitely use.

However, he’s shown inconsistencies with catching the ball and he’s an average blocker at best. He’s also coming off a serious injury that required spinal fusion surgery that could lessen his athleticism.

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With all that said, should the Steelers pick him up?

Well, it depends. If he shows some of that athleticism during workouts and is signed to a reasonable one- or two-year deal then yes. If the bidding war starts reaching above market value then, they should look elsewhere.

I’m OK with rolling the dice with Finley, provided that he is obtained for a reasonable price. However, I’m very concerned with the past injuries and recent surgery not only effecting his durability, but his ability to play football at a high or above-average level.

The Steelers do need to look at a second tight end that can actually contribute and help Ben out, while also taking pressure off Heath Miller, Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Jerricho Cotchery.

Roethlisberger would benefit greatly with a few two-tight end sets. Getting a guy with Finley’s frame and speed would give Ben a whole other dimension in terms of his quarterback play.

Despite all the good that could come out of this signing, it’s still very risky. The Steelers are not an organization that takes risks or overpays, so I’m not sure if they will even go for him seriously.

If they do, that’s great, but they should proceed with caution. Adding another guy who sits on the injured reserve all season is just wasting money that they could be using to fill huge needs.

I’m all for the signing, as long as the Steelers don’t overpay and it’s a cap-friendly contract. There’s too much risk to waste big money on someone who has a 90 percent chance of getting hurt.

I think I speak for everyone when I say the Steelers don’t need another player collecting checks from the IR.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.


Do you agree? Do you think I’m wrong? Maybe you think everything is fine and they should just resign what they have. Whatever the case I want your opinion! Comment and send me feedback about what you think the Steelers should do with the tight end situation. Thanks for reading!

Tags: Jermichael Finley NFL Free Agency Pittsburgh Steelers

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