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Finley franchise-tag fight still looms

Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 15: Jermichael Finley #88 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a play against the New York Giants during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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We reported during the season that the Packers and tight end Jermichael Finley eventually could find themselves in a fight regarding the question of whether, for the purposes of the franchise tag, Finley is a tight end or a wide receiver.

With the franchise tender for tight ends expected to be in the range of $5.4 million and the franchise tender for receivers expected to be in the range of $9.4 million, it’s a $4 million question.

The CBA doesn’t contain much guidance. Article 9, Section 2(a)(i) states that the tender will apply to the position in which the player “participated in the most plays.” The Packers undoubtedly would tender Finley as a tight end. Finley then would be required to file a grievance challenging the designation.

And then the grievance will entail splitting hairs, on a play-by-play basis, regarding whether Finley was a tight end or a receiver. Factors likely will include Finley’s location at the snap of the ball, whether he was in a two-point stance or a three-point stance, whether he was lined up in the backfield, whether he blocked or ran a pass pattern, and any other detail that would assist with the determination of whether he played as a tight end or as a receiver.

Of course, it will all be moot if Finley and the Packers work out a new deal. There’s still time for that to happen before the Packers have to pick a franchise-tag fight that the franchise may not want.

Maybe they can get it done by throwing in a couple hundred shares of stock.