We've spent some time running through the Green Bay Packers' options for tight end Jermichael Finley, who at the moment has the third-highest salary cap number on the team for 2013. We've also noted that coach Mike McCarthy appears in favor of whatever option keeps Finley in a Packers uniform.
So it's worth noting that Finley told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he would not accept a pay cut as part of an effort to lower his cap number. He said he would "maybe" restructure, something the Packers could only do by extending his deal beyond its current 2013 expiration.
For what it's worth, Finley confirmed that the Packers haven't asked him to agree to any changes to his deal. In the world of contract negotiations, there is plenty of time for that to happen; Finley has a roster bonus of $3.5 million due in mid-March as part of 2013 compensation that would total $8.25 million if it is left untouched.
The link on Finley's full quote, via Anderson's Twitter feed, is down at the moment, but LombardiAve.com managed to grab it before then. Here's what Finley said when asked what would happen if the Packers request he take a pay cut:
"I'd have to walk for sure, meaning I couldn't take a pay cut. Maybe I'd restructure if it's a deal that I like and it makes sense, but I'm not the guy that's just going to sign anything and let anything pass. I’m not that guy.
"Other than that, taking a pay cut or restructuring doesn't sound good to me at this time. I like my deal. I start training in Minneapolis tomorrow and I’m more inspired than ever to start next season off right and be the tight end I know I can be. It’s all business at the end of the day. I just love what I do."
From a pure negotiating standpoint, it wouldn't make sense for Finley to do anything other than take an extreme public stance. He isn't going to make it easier for the Packers by announcing his intentions publicly. Things have a funny way of changing at the final hour, of course. We're a few weeks from that point.