Although Jermichael Finley hasn’t given up on returning to action for an NFL team, the free agent tight end is moving forward to file a claim on his $10MM insurance policy, a source tells Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Finley, who is still recovering from a neck injury that required spinal fusion surgery, had the policy in place in the event of a career-ending injury.
According to Pelissero, Finley continues to work out for five hours a day in the hopes of signing with an NFL team at some point. However, despite showing progress through a series of MRIs and CAT scans, returning to the field isn’t a realistic possibility for now. So Finley intends to move forward to try to collect the insurance money, as the policy stipulates he can attempt to collect the money if he hasn’t played in four games — Pelissero tweets that the decision is mostly procedural, and won’t stop Finley from trying to latch on with an NFL club.
Of course, as Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports detailed in August, it certainly won’t be as simple as Finley filing the claim and being handed $10MM. At least one doctor has medically cleared the tight end to return to action, meaning the insurance company could argue that the injury sustained by the former Packer isn’t career-ending. Even if Finley is able to collect some or all of the insurance money, it will likely be a drawn-out process, with no guarantees.
While it looks increasingly likely that Finley won’t play during the 2014 campaign, he did draw a little interest in the offseason from the Patriots, Seahawks, and Steelers, among other teams. The Packers have also expressed interest in bringing Finley back into the fold if and when he’s healthy.